Were you one of them?
With the fluctuation of cold weather seen over February and slightly into March this year, a large proportion of the country either switched, or considering switching, their energy provider. This comes hand in hand with the notion that the ‘big six’ providers are no longer the go-to choice for customers. Rather, as much as 20% of customers have now began to seek out mid-tier businesses to provide the energy to their homes. Not only this, but the massive increase of prices by British Gas in 2017 has seemingly catalysed a more frugal attitude by customers paying for energy.
And here’s why…
Customers set free by ESG
The Energy Switch Guarantee (ESG) has meant that switching energy providers is now simpler than ever before for customers. The voluntary business commitment means that much of the stress that was once there for customers is now all but removed. Comparing energy providers means that the business of providing energy is now the most competitive it has ever been, and pressure to compete means that prices are slowly being pushed down as a result.
Capping of energy prices
British Gas blames the capping of energy prices as one of the key reasons they had to let got of almost 40% of their workforce, but it is futile to ignore the positive impact from this initiative. It feels like there was once an understanding that utilities, like other aspects of life, are a necessity.
Therefore, it felt unethical to be raising prices for the profit of those providing it. Unfortunately, a free market has meant that until the energy price freeze there was no limit to what could be charged to a customer for energy and utilities. Not only this, but before the ESG, customers certainly felt like they had little choice in the way of charges for energy. It was an arduous procedure and you reminded of this wherever possible.
Big Providers running out of steam
There’s no such thing as a ‘vintage’ or ‘retro’ energy provider. There are reputations of businesses that will only ever be further smudged over time. Scandals that don’t even involve a particular provider cast a shadow over each of the ‘Big 6’, as customers are becoming more and more apathetic to faceless organisations.
Ironically, it would seem that the choice to turn to smaller or more unknown energy providers is in itself a nostalgic effort in some sense. There are those who want to return to being able to speak to a fellow human being when having a discrepancy with their account. They also know that with smaller businesses comes smaller overheads, a more critical selection of both sales staff and support staff, and more care to ensure that no customer is lost, as one is worth more among a smaller crowd.