New study slams UK gas and electricity market

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New research has slammed the competitiveness of the UK's 'Big Six' claiming it has fallen to an all-time low.

In the study by Helsinki based consultant, Vassaett, it is claimed the number of UK households switching energy providers has almost halved in the last seven years. The study concludes this makes it easy for the energy suppliers to carry on raising prices as the stale market means there is little competition.

Vassaett chief executive Dr Philip Lewis, said: "No market has experienced a faster decline in competitive activity, as measured by customer switching, than the once most active market in the world, Great Britain."

Vassaett is a leading source of global energy market customer switching, and in its latest estimates predicts New Zealand will be the most active market in the world, with Belgium dominating the ranking in Europe.

Only six years ago, Britain was the top country in all major developed economies for shopping around. In 2006, almost 21% of people changed their energy supplier. This figure has now plummeted to 11.5% according to the study, which accredits the ending of door to door sales to be a huge factor in this drop.

Energy UK, the country's energy supplier representative, pointed to its own study - also released this week - which noted the number of people swapping energy suppliers was at a three-year high.

In fact, Energy UK chief executive Angela Knight, used its report to suggest if anything, the industry was working well, despite Vassaett's report to the contrary.

She said: "More people are switching energy supplier which is proof that the retail energy market is working well."

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