Although there are way over 50 suppliers in the energy market, there are six energy suppliers that dominate the industry. The biggest six energy suppliers have this label because they have the most amount of customers (and the most money!).
Who are Britain’s Big Six energy companies?
- British Gas
- EDF Energy
- Scottish Power
Who is the biggest energy company?
British Gas has the most customers at just over 5 million. Here’s how many customers each Big Six supplier has:
- British Gas: 5.6 million
- E.On: 2 million
- SSE: 1.9 million
- EDF Energy: 1.7 million
- Scottish Power: 1.7 million
- Npower: 1.3 million
Who is the cheapest energy supplier?
Most suppliers will have both cheap and expensive tariffs. Cheap tariffs usually last one year so depending on when you compare the market the cheapest supplier could change. We’ve listed the four ways to find a good energy deal. Our free service can also check whether you can switch to a cheaper deal.
Which is the oldest energy supplier?
British Gas is one of the oldest companies starting 200 years ago when energy was very different! British Gas was the main supplier of energy up until the gas industry was privatised in 1989.
How old are the other Big Six companies?
Following British Gas, E.ON was established in the same year, 1989. After that SSE was formed in 1998 following the merger of Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric, which were both originally founded in 1948. Then Scottish Power was established in 1990, Npower in 2000 and EDF Energy in 2002.
The Big Six and the loyalty tax
The Big Six are the oldest energy suppliers in Britain therefore they have traditionally been the most trusted too. However trust in energy companies has been on the decline in the last decade. Despite customers joining the Big Six on cheap energy rates, they’re automatically rolled on to much more expensive tariffs.
New customers being given cheaper energy deals than loyal customers is still standard practice. The term ‘loyalty tax’ was born out of this mistreatment of loyal customers and it’s why we started our service.
Customer price rises and company profits
In 2017 there were 15 price rises. After that it got much worse with 2018 being the worst year for price rises. There were a total of 57 rises which added £840 million to customer’s energy bills.
The energy regulator, Ofgem, reports on the profits of energy companies each year. Although they haven’t reported on 2018 yet, this gives you a good idea of energy company profits. They separate profits by domestic and non domestic.
As a result we can see how much money suppliers are making from customer’s energy bills with their domestic report below. British Gas consistently making huge profits, for instance even with the decrease in 2016/2017, their 2017 profits were £556 million.
Can we trust the Big Six?
The Big Six supply energy to millions of people and most of us have been with them a long time. Everything just ticks along nicely and there’s usually no need to get in contact.
The Big Six do offer some cheap tariffs but they don’t last forever. Most suppliers offer cheap one year tariffs. The service you get from all these suppliers can be very similar. In other words it doesn’t matter which energy supplier you’re with, what matters is the tariff. Above all, switching to new tariffs each year is essential so that you’re not rolled on to your suppliers expensive tariff.
In conclusion the Big Six want to charge you the maximum they can. To make sure you’re on a cheap energy tariff every year you need to switch to a new energy deal regularly.
Now that can sound like a lot of work, especially if you’ve not switched before! Our free service helps by finding cheap deals every time your tariff is about to end.
We also manage the switch process for you. So all you need to do is enter a few details and we’ll do the rest. Our members save £253 on average, and people who join us from the Big Six save on average £356. Don’t pay more than you need to on your suppliers standard tariff. Sign up today and see how much we can save you.