The UK domestic energy market now boasts more than 70 different energy companies. This is in stark contrast to just a few years ago when the majority of us had our home energy provided by one of the so-called "big six". This consists of:
As competition amongst the best energy suppliers has heated up, we have seen the emergence of new energy companies aggressively acquiring market share at an impressive rate. The key names to look out for here are:
So why has this happened?
Ofgem, the energy regulator, encouraged new entrants to compete against the "big six" in order to give consumers more choice and ultimately to encourage energy switching which lacked behind other switching markets e.g. home insurance, at just 10% of consumers each year. As a result, this meant the vast the majority of UK homes were languishing on expensive Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) and paying an average of £300 a year more than they need to.
Fast forward a few years and the plan seems to have worked...a bit. The latest energy switching statistics show that around 19% of homes now switch their home gas and electricity each year. Whilst the growth in consumer choice and energy switching volumes has been welcoming (although let's not forget it means 81% aren't switching!), it has also had some downfalls namely due to poor customer service. As such, in June 2019, Ofgem (who energy companies are authorised and regulated by) announced plans to review market entry requirements and impose new rules to ensure consumers are protected. These measures include:
This has been on the back of the collapse of a number of energy suppliers in recent years which has further fuelled consumer concerns when it comes to switching supplier.
With so much going on, and with so many suppliers and energy tariffs to choose from, this is where this guide comes in to help you learn about the different energy companies on offer when it comes to comparing energy prices on a energy price comparison site.
As an energy comparison service helping consumers switch energy suppliers, we feel it is our duty to not only make energy savings but also to help consumers learn more about their energy supplier including:
The full list of licensed energy companies within the UK, along with their estimated customer count is shown below:
|Energy Company||% Share||Customers|
|Economy Seven Energy||-|
|GB Energy Supply||-|
|Go Effortless Energy||-|
|Green Energy UK||-|
|Green Network Energy||-|
|Green Star Energy||1%||270,000|
|Gulf Gas & Power||-|
|Out Fox the Market||-|
|Out Fox the Market||-|
|Robin Hood Energy||-|
|Telecom Utility Warehouse||2%||540,000|
|Usio Energy Supply Limited||-|
We go in to more detail on each providers review page, but let's take a quick look at some of the key gas and electricity suppliers currently operating in the energy market:
Owned by Centrica, British Gas remains the largest of all the energy suppliers holding around 5.1m customer accounts. However, that is significantly lower than a few years ago when they held 25% of the market. British Gas is also the incumbent gas supplier for the UK making it the only supplier to have a larger holding of gas customers than electricity.
French owned EDF Energy is the incumbent energy supplier to London and holds around 3 million energy accounts within the UK. Self-promoted as "generation electric" they source more than 70% of their energy from nuclear power.
German owned energy giant E.ON (previously Powergen) is the incumbent electricity supplier to the midlands and holds around 4m energy accounts.
Incumbent electricity supplier to the midlands, north east and Yorkshire, npower (Innogy Plc) supply energy to around 3.75m residential and business energy customers.
Scottish & Southern was the 2nd largest energy supplier in the UK until recent years where, as with other "big six" suppliers, they have seen their pot of customers swallowed up by new more agile companies. In September 2019, they agreed to sell their retail business consisting of 3.5m customers to the rising star of the energy market - Ovo Energy in a deal worth £500m. SSE operates under a number of different brands including, Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro, SWALEC and Atlantic.
Owned by Spanish energy giants Iberdrola, Scottish Power supplies energy to around 5 million households and businesses. They are also one of the first energy companies to fast-track their transition to renewable energy with claims to be 100% renewable "soon".
Launched in 2009, Ovo Energy has moved at lightning pace to disrupt the market and has grown to now hold 5% of the market. However, after news they will acquire SSE's retail arm, this will essentially see them become the UK's second largest energy company behind British Gas...and I doubt it will stop there.
Launched in 2013, Bulb is owned by two friends wanting to make a difference by offering cheap, simple and green energy. Another disruptor to the energy market they have struck a chord with consumers, growing their base to over 1 million customers with their 1 simple tariff offering and commitment to 100% green electricity.
Launched in 2015, another new-comer to the energy market looking to make a change for the better. Estimated to have around 170,000 but with big growth plans for the years ahead as they too seek to offer consumers cheap, green energy with great customer service. With 4.5 stars from almost three thousands reviews on Trust Pilot, it looks like they are doing a good job.
Yes Shell where you fill up your tank joined the UK energy market back in 2018 after acquiring First Utility. They claim to offer 100% renewable electricity as well as Shell reward points and broadband to their customers.
It is worth noting that energy companies only handle your energy bill and charge you for the gas and electricity you use at home on either a variable or fixed price tariff. The supply itself is actually handled by a different company known as the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). It is these companies who are responsible for ensuring your home is supplied with gas and/or electricity depending on where you live.
Details of which DNO covers each areas are below:
|East England||UK Power Networks|
|East Midlands||Western Power Distribution|
|London||UK Power Networks|
|North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire||Scottish Power Energy Networks|
|West Midlands||Western Power Distribution|
|North East England||Northern Powergrid (Northeast)|
|North West England||Electricity North West|
|North Scotland||SSE (Scottish Hydro Electric)|
|South Scotland||Scottish Power Energy Networks|
|South East England||UK Power Networks|
|Southern England||SSE (Southern Electric)|
|South Wales||Western Power Distribution|
|South West England||Western Power Distribution|
|Yorkshire||Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire)|
So there you have it. Our summary of all the energy suppliers currently operating in the UK domestic, and business energy, market. This is a market that keeps changing so we will be sure to keep updating our content to ensure it presents you with the most accurate overview of all the energy companies you can choose from when looking to save money on your home energy bills whether that be comparing electricity or gas only, or dual fuel.