Number of households switching energy provider plummets
New data released by DECC shows that the number of households switching energy provider this year has plummeted even further after already reaching an all-time-low in 2011.
The figures show a 25% decline in the number of people switching electricity providers in Q1 2012 compared to Q1 2011, while gas transfers dropped by 33% in the same time frame.
In 2010, 16% of households switched gas and 17% switched electricity provider. Last year this fell to 15% for gas and 15% for electricity. If the trend for Q1 this year continues throughout 2012 then those switching can be expected to drop to 10% for gas and 11% for electricity.
Earlier in March, it was revealed that switching had never been lower, but these latest numbers suggest that the decline has yet to bottom out.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: "This tells us that the energy market is not just in poor health - it's on the critical list. Switching numbers are dropping off a cliff with the number of people engaging at an all-time-low. This means that the pressure is on Ofgem to ensure that its Retail Market Review delivers. It's not enough to just stop the rot - it has to turn these numbers around.
"What these figures also tell us is that consumers are losing out - this low-level of switching is hitting consumers' pockets. With household energy bills at an eye-watering £1,254 a year, people cannot afford to be paying hundreds of pounds more for their energy than they need to. Consumers have to have trust and confidence in the market so that they feel able to shop around for a better deal - this is now imperative."