The move will give more choice, especially for those looking for an alternative to the big six energy suppliers who dominate the market.
Two challengers – OVO Energy and First:Utility – have launched highly competitive online energy plans. OVO’s plan averages out at GBP978 a year, while First:Utility’s plan is market beating, averaging out at GBP967 a year. This makes it GBP16 cheaper than EDF Energy’s online energy plan, which costs GBP983 a year on average and is the cheapest plan offered by one of the big six.
First:Utility’s plan is available in 12 out of 14 energy regions and, unlike its other plans, does not require consumers to have a smart meter installed. In the remaining two regions, its smart meter online plan is available and it has just announced that it is dropping the price on this too. OVO’s plan is a fixed price plan, which means that customers will continue to benefit even if prices go up during the duration of the plan. However, there is an exit penalty attached.
Will Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “This is the first time that a ‘challenger’ energy provider has gone head-to-head with major suppliers on price and beaten them. This is because their size works in their favour – they are quick and nimble and able to react to falling wholesale prices quicker than their bigger rivals. It’s good news for those consumers who have been looking for a viable alternative to the big six, but who are concerned about paying more for their energy as a result.
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.