Considered as the largest energy suppliers in the United Kingdom, the Big Six continued to dominate millions of homes and businesses with their electric and gas supplies. Because of the many customers they have and the impressive products and services they offer, the competition for business electric has become tougher. This leads to the question that most energy users are asking: can smaller suppliers be a valid alternative?
Who Are The Big Six?
The term “Big Six” is used to describe the six biggest energy companies in the UK. It is comprised of British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, ScottishPower, and SSE.At least 95% of households use gas ad electricity from them. However, the existence of the smaller alternatives has become a threat as many users are starting to switch from the larger companies to the smaller ones.
Who Are British Gas?
As part of the Centrica Group, British Gas is considered as the largest supplier in the UK with over 10 million domestic users in the country. It was formed in 1997 after the merger of British Gas Plc.
In 2017, the energy supplier received the score of 75% in terms of customer satisfaction, placing itself on the fifth spot among the other eight suppliers.
Who Are EDF Energy?
Apart from being a part of the Big Six, EDF Energy is also one of the biggest electricity suppliers and generators in the UK. It generates one-fifth of the electricity from several sources which include combined power plants and heat, wind farms, and traditional methods.
With over 5 million customers, EDF Energy landed on the fourth place out of the other eight suppliers in the 2017’s uSwitch Energy Awards.
Who Are E.ON UK?
E.ON UK was formerly known as Powergen, however, after the German E.ON Groups acquisition, its name was changed. The energy supplier has over 5 million domestic UK customers and it has won the coveted uSwitch award in 2017, the Large Supplier of the Year in the uSwitch Customer Satisfaction Awards. Moreover, it has increased its score by 4% compared to last year.
Who Are npower?
With over 3.1 million customers, npower is considered as one of the largest energy suppliers in the UK. It was originally named as National Power in 1990 with Central Electricity Generating Board as its owner, however, it was acquired by the RWE Group that joined the German leading gas and electricity.
Who Are ScottishPower?
The energy Scotland-based supplier landed on the seventh spot of the uSwitch Energy Awards out of the eight suppliers. It has over 5 million domestic UK customers and over 9 thousand employees.
In 1990, ScottishPower was privately owned by the Scottish electricity industry, but in 1995, it was obtained by Manweb, a regional supplier.
Who Are SSE?
As the second largest electricity and gas supplier in the UK, the company has over 10 million customers in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. However, among the eight energy suppliers, SSE only ranked itself on the fifth place in the 2017 customer satisfaction awards.
Is It Safe To Switch To A Smaller Alternative
Yes! And there are plenty smaller and independent energy suppliers to consider as most of it prove to be valid alternatives. Often, they offer deals that are almost the same as what the Big Six are offering, or in some cases, it comes off cheaper. However, many UK customers are misinformed about the switching process that’s why they opt to stay with their current supplier.
In addition, they believe that small and independent companies are likely to be unstable and might go out of business. They also believe that their customer service is not as high quality as the larger energy carriers.