Who Are They?
The ‘big six’ is a phrase that we use to describe the six largest energy firms in the UK. All six of them hold the majority of the market share and have been around for many years.
- British Gas
- EDF Energy
They currently supply close to 95% of British households with gas and electricity. However, there are a huge number of smaller suppliers gaining a great and greater foothold in the UK.
Why Is It Bad They Dominate The Market?
As they provide most of the UK’s energy, there is little room for other companies to come in and try to be competitive. Without other companies competing for business, the ‘Big 6’ are free to charge customers what they want and thus move the prices around at will. If they decide to drop prices they will do so together and if they decide to increase them, they will usually do so all together as well. Which is why most people are concerned about this.
Why Are They Criticised?
The bigger you are the more you’re criticised and the ‘Big 6’ are no different. When they raise and lower their prices all at once, then usually the public will claim they are “price fixing.” The most recent example of this, was in March 2016 when all the ‘Big 6’ decreased their gas prices by between 5-5.3%.
When Ofgem conducted investigations on them in the past, they have seen no evidence to suspect price rigging.
The energy watchdog stated:
“It has been concluded that no evidence of the alleged market manipulation could be found and therefore that the interests of consumers have not been harmed.”
Should You Stay With Them Or Switch Away?
If they haven’t done anything to wrong you, and the price is right, I would.
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