Who are the UK's main energy suppliers?

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Who are the Big Six?

Britain's largest energy suppliers are known collectively as the 'Big Six', and between them they supply gas and electricity to over 50 million homes and businesses across the UK.

The Big Six are also the UK's longest running private energy suppliers, having all formed during the 1990s following the passing of the 1989 Electricity Act, which paved the way for the privatisation of the energy sector.

Energy supply isn't all about the Big Six though - a growing number of smaller independent suppliers have been entering the UK market since 1997, with the aim of providing real competition for the major providers and creating a fairer market for consumers in the process.

UKPower compares all suppliers for the home energy market, so you can be sure we'll find you the best deal on gas and electricity.

The Big Six Energy Suppliers

British Gas British Gas
  • Leading Big Six energy supplier in the UK.
  • British Gas is owned by parent company Centrica.
  • British Gas supply 15 million homes in the UK.
EDF Energy EDF Energy
  • Largest producer of electricity in the UK.
  • EDF Energy is a French state owned company.
  • EDF Energy supplied 5.6 million homes in the UK.
  • UK market leader is producing combined heat and power.
  • E.ON is the world's largest investor owned utility service.
  • E.ON serves over 26 million customers.
npower npower
  • Npower is owned by German company RWE.
  • Previously npower was known as Innogy.
  • Npower supply gas and electricity to 6.5 million customers in the UK.
ScottishPower ScottishPower
  • Scottish Power is owned by Spanish parent company Iberdrola.
  • One of the smaller of the Big Six energy companies.
  • Scottish Power serve 5.3 million customers in the UK.
  • SSE trade under different names, including SSE, SWALEC and Scottish Hydro depending on the region.
  • SSE is the second largest Big Six supplier in the UK.
  • SSE supply 9.1 million customers in the UK.

What other energy suppliers are available?

The Big Six may be the UK's biggest and best-known energy suppliers, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're the best - the growing number of smaller energy suppliers means there's a greater choice than ever, so make sure you shop around for the best deal on gas and electricity.

You may even find these less well-known providers not only offer the best gas and electricity rates, but also better customer care and after-sales service.

Other energy suppliers

Affect Energy Affect Energy
  • A team of ex-employees who used to work for one of the Big Six.
  • Over 50-years' combined experience in the energy market.
  • Affect energy pride themselves on their level of customer service.
Angelic Energy Angelic Energy
  • Not-for-profit energy provider owned by Islington Council.
  • Offers residents and alternative to the Bix Six energy providers.
  • Easy-to-understand terms and pricing - no confusing jargon or complicated tariffs.
Avro Energy Avro Energy
  • Avro Energy began trading in 2015.
  • They look to provide simple and competitively prices energy products.
  • Avro Energy is based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
better energy better energy
  • Better Energy began supplying energy to customers in 2011.
  • Better Energy currently only offers gas to customers.
  • Better Energy's motto is "Same energy, Better price".
Boost Boost
  • The new name for OVO ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy.
  • Aims to improve the prepayment energy market.
  • Energy use can be monitored and meters topped up using the Boost app.
Breeze Energy Supply Breeze Energy Supply
  • Aims to help people become more energy efficient.
  • Offers tips to help people use less energy and save money.
  • UK-based customer support team can be contacted by phone or email.
Brighter World Energy Brighter World Energy
  • Brighter World Energy began trading in 2016.
  • Every 2,000 customers who switch means they build a sustainable solar powered micro grid in a village in Africa.
  • Works in partnership with not-for-profit supplier Robin Hood Energy.
Bristol Energy Bristol Energy
  • Bristol Energy committed to local development and reinvestment.
  • They pride themselves on a transparent service.
  • Bristol Energy supply around 10,000 customers in Britain.
Bulb Energy Bulb Energy
  • Bulb specialise in renewable energy products.
  • They look to take on the Big Six by empowering their customers.
  • Bulb Energy supports independent renewable generators.
Compare M&S Energy gas and electricity prices Compare M&S Energy gas and electricity prices
  • Work in partnership with Octopus Energy.
  • M&S Energy prides itself in offering straightforward energy options to customers.
  • Not available in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Compare Shell Energy gas and electricity prices Compare Shell Energy gas and electricity prices
  • 100% renewable electricity
Co-operative Energy Co-operative Energy
  • Only UK supplier to be owned by their customers.
  • Coop Energy has been operating since 2010.
  • Coop Energy boast a fair and transparent service.
Daligas Daligas
  • Only offer gas to their customers.
  • Helps SMEs with a simplified pricing structure.
  • Boast a transparent and trustworthy service.
  • EBICo was founded in 2008.
  • One of the few suppliers who offer zero standing charge tariffs.
  • EBICo also offer competitive pay-as-you-go tariffs.
Economy 7 Energy Economy 7 Energy
  • Offers a cheaper rate during seven night-time hours.
  • Special Economy 7 meters show your day rate and discounted rate.
  • See how much you could save by switching to Economy 7.
Economy Energy Economy Energy
  • Economy Energy fight to keep their customer's bills falling.
  • Over 5% of their energy is generated from renewable sources.
  • Boast a service that has local communities at its heart.
Ecotricity Ecotricity
  • Ecotricity are always looking for new ways to invest in green energy sources.
  • Ecotricity regularly feature amongst the top of Which's satisfaction survey.
  • Ecotiricty is not-for-dividend, which means their customers always come first.
E Energy E Energy
  • British-owned energy company based in Birmingham.
  • Aim is to keeping costs down so customers pay less.
  • Tariffs are simple and straightforward to helps customers choose the best deal.
EnergySW EnergySW
  • Energy SW work alongside OVO to offer improved levels of customer service.
  • Offer competitive pricing.
  • Offer per-payment meters for landlords to help residents enjoy savings as well.
Engie Engie
  • ENGIE look to push boundaries in low carbon energy solutions.
  • They offer data led energy products to help customers save money.
  • Serve more than 14,000 customers in both public and private sectors.
Entice Energy Entice Energy
  • Entice Energy offers low cost gas to homes all over the UK.
  • Their service boasts a state of the art online account service.
  • Each customer has access to an account manager.
Extra Energy Extra Energy
  • Extra Energy is the sister company of German company extraenergie.
  • Considered a main challenger to the Big Six.
  • Aim to offer low prices with excellent service standards.
Fairerpower Fairerpower
  • Provides competitive energy prices to residents of Cheshire East.
  • Run by Cheshire East Council, who have partnered with OVO.
  • Payments will be collected by OVO on behalf of Fairerpower.
first:utility first:utility
  • First:utility is the fastest growing energy supplier in the UK.
  • They are committed to helping reduce energy bills by offering cheaper tariffs.
  • As a supplier they campaign for positive changes, including faster switching.
Fischer Energy Fischer Energy
  • Fischer puts customers first to value fairness, honesty and loyalty.
  • Offers just one tariff, its ‘One Fair Tariff’ do deliver one competitive price to all.
  • Family-run company that delivers for customers and not shareholders.
Flow Energy Flow Energy
  • Flow Energy employ market leaders to deliver the best prices for customers.
  • Their UK-based customer service team can offer support every step of the way.
  • Pioneers of the electricity-generating Flow boiler.
Future Energy Future Energy
  • Future Energy can boast low prices as well as transparent billing.
  • Based in Newcastle and prodominently supplies the North East of England.
  • Offer both gas and electricity products as part of their service.
GB Energy Supply GB Energy Supply
  • Part of Co-operative Energy from 2016.
  • Provides gas and electricity to over 140,000 homes across the UK.
  • Ambition is to offer fair, competitive, no gimmicks prices to all customers.
  • GnERGY is a new breed of community suppliers.
  • They aim to offer gas and electricity in an open and honest way.
  • They boast a multi lingual UK-based call center.
Go Effortless Energy Go Effortless Energy
  • Go Effortless Energy is built from the ground-up using customer perspective.
  • They offer one honest simple and fair tariff to all their customers.
  • They steer clear of misleading lyalty bonuses and cash-back schemes.
Good Energy Good Energy
  • Good Energy offers renewable energy products.
  • Founded in 1999, they were the first supplier to have a 100% renewable energy fuel mix.
  • Good Energy has an expanding community of generators across the UK.
Great North Energy Great North Energy
  • Not-for-profit energy provider owned by Doncaster Council, in partnership with Robin Hood Energy.
  • Provides low cost, fair and transparent pricing and choice along with quality customer service.
  • A real alternative to expensive tariffs, especially prepayment customers.
Green Energy (UK) Green Energy (UK)
  • Green Energy can supply domestic and business customers.
  • They buy energy from anyone generating their own surplus electricity.
  • They also offer lower cost products by harnessing the power of water, wind and sun.
Green Network Energy Green Network Energy
  • An Italian energy company founded in 2003, it supplies energy to Italy and the UK.
  • Aims to challenge the Big Six by operating with passion and innovation.
  • Offers customers more choice when it comes to managing energy needs.
Green Star Energy Green Star Energy
  • Offer gas and electricity to customers across the UK.
  • Part of the larger American group Just Energy.
  • They state their aim as a company looking to develop cost effective energy solutions for their customers.
isupplyenergy isupplyenergy
  • iSupply is based in Bournemouth and launched in 2012.
  • Their mission is to provide low pricing and easy access to an online management account.
  • iSupply prioritise price and service for their customers.
  • Liverpool-based offering low-cost energy to the city and surrounding areas.
  • No shareholder or director bonuses means all profits go into keeping prices low for customers.
  • Works to support prepayment customers and help them move onto the best and cheapest alternatives and put them in control of their energy bills.
Nabuh Energy Nabuh Energy
  • Aims to offer honest, simple and cheaper pricing to its customers.
  • Focus on technology to put itself at the forefront of both prepay and direct debit markets.
  • Aims to save customers money by offering an alternative to the Big Six.
Octopus Octopus
  • Octopus is the largest investor in solar farms.
  • Octopus offers a better experience for customers through transparency, honesty and simplicity.
  • Puts the planet first with long term investment in low CO2 alternatives.
OneSelect OneSelect
  • Shows customers how and when they use energy, to keep them in control.
  • Simple and transparent pricing so customers know exactly what they’re paying for.
  • Offers one simple, 12-month, fixed-rate tariff, with no exit fees.
Our Power Our Power
  • Energy supplier established by Scottish social housing providers.
  • Aims to reduce heat and fuel costs by passing benefits from the energy sector to residents and communities.
  • Generates its own power and reinvests profits to help benefit customers.
Outfox the Market Outfox the Market
  • Outfox the Market offers a customer-led energy alternative.
  • Energy is bought at wholesale from 100% renewable sources.
  • Gas and electricity is available with no contract tie-ins.
OVO Energy OVO Energy
  • An environmentally-conscious energy supplier aiming to make renewable energy available to all.
  • Offers a 100% renewable tariff for those who want to do more for the environment.
  • Boost publishes an annual environmental impact report and is working to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard.
Peterborough Energy Peterborough Energy
  • Offers local residents to Peterborough fair and competitive prices.
  • In partnership with OVO.
  • OVO will collect payments on Peterborough Energy's behalf.
PFP Energy PFP Energy
  • PFP Energy offers simple tariffs and bills, so you know exactly what you're getting.
  • Offer discounts for online accounts and direct debits.
  • Owned by the PFP Group, PFP Energy launched in 2015.
Powershop Powershop
  • Offers an innovative and unique way to buy and sell-back energy.
  • Transparent pricing to keep customers in control.
  • A really different alternative with customer satisfaction ratings of 90%.
RAM Energy RAM Energy
  • A not-for-profit supplier, owned by Derby City Council to supply the people of Derby and the midlands.
  • No shareholder or director bonuses means all profits go into keeping prices low for customers.
  • Aim to provide energy at the lowest price possible.
Robin Hood Energy Robin Hood Energy
  • Robin Hood Energy is a not-for-profit supplier.
  • Boast a UK-based call centre.
  • Look to provide energy at the lowest price possible.
Sainsbury's Energy Sainsbury's Energy
  • Sainsbury's Energy works in association with British Gas.
  • The look to provide customer service and energy expertise.
  • Offer gas, electricity and boiler services.
So Energy So Energy
  • So Energy was set up to restore customer trust in suppliers.
  • Committed to delivering low prices for their customers.
  • A simplistic approach and the latest technology gives So Energy a competitive edge.
Solarplicity Energy Solarplicity Energy
  • An independent, British energy supplier set up in 2009 to offer a green energy alternative.
  • Originally a solar energy provider, its now evolved to offer more alternatives.
  • 100% renewable, ethical and affordable energy for all.
Southend Energy Southend Energy
  • Southend Energy works in partnership with OVO.
  • Dedicated to bringing competitive energy prices to Southend-On-Sea Borough Council.
  • Focus not just on low prices, but also sustainable prices.
Spark Energy Spark Energy
  • The only suppliers built around the UK lettings industry.
  • Offer tenants a tailored service and better value than the Big Six alternatives.
  • Utilise customer feedback to constantly improve their service.
SSE Atlantic SSE Atlantic
  • Part of the SSE group, a member of the Big Six.
  • Offers gas and electricity to prepayment and credit customers.
  • Customer-focussed with UK-based call centres.
SSE Scottish Hydro SSE Scottish Hydro
  • Part of the SSE group, a member of the Big Six.
  • Offers gas and electricity to prepayment and credit customers.
  • Customer-focussed with UK-based call centres.
SSE Southern Electric SSE Southern Electric
  • Part of the SSE group, a member of the Big Six.
  • Offers gas and electricity to prepayment and credit customers.
  • Customer-focussed with UK-based call centres.
  • Part of the SSE group, a member of the Big Six.
  • Supplies Energy to Wales and the south west.
  • Customer-focussed with UK-based call centres.
The Energy Deal The Energy Deal
  • Providing customers with low energy prices and great customer service.
  • Can contact by phone, email or on social media.
  • Aims to save 100,000 customers £20m over the next three years.
Together Energy Together Energy
Tonik Energy Tonik Energy
  • Tonik Energy is looking to halve customer bills by 2020.
  • They offer fari prices through smart technology and transparent pricing.
  • Tonik Energy is based in Birmingham.
TOTO Energy TOTO Energy
  • TOTO Energy offers customers low prices by purchasing energy at wholesale.
  • They offer a variety of payment methods to suit all customer's needs.
  • Look to provide offerings cheaper than the Big Six.
Usio Energy Usio Energy

Usio Energy entered the market in 2017. They are a small gas and electricity supplier based in London.

Utilita Utilita
  • Utilita is the leading provider of pre-payment meters in the UK.
  • Utilita puts per payment customers first to offer them a better deal.
  • Payments can be sent to a meter remotely, allowing customers more freedom.
Utility Point Utility Point

Utility Point entered the energy market in 2017. They are a small gas and electricity supplier based in Dorset.

Utility Warehouse Utility Warehouse
  • At least 0.5% cheaper than the Big Six.
  • Utility Warehouse will always put you on their cheapest tariff.
  • Supplies more than 500,000 domestic and commercial customers.
White Rose Energy White Rose Energy
  • White Rose Energy was launched in 2016.
  • A not-for-profit supplier.
  • Serves customers in Yorkshire.
Your Energy Sussex Your Energy Sussex
  • Not-for-profit energy company supplying West Sussex, East Sussex and the surrounding areas.
  • Operated by a partnership of local councils who want people in Sussex to pay less for their energy.
  • Works in conjunction with Robin Hood Energy to supply low-cost gas and electricity.
Zog Energy Zog Energy
  • Zog Energy uses cloud computing to provide unrivalled customer service.
  • It's aim is to provide the best possible value energy to its customers.
  • They look to keep their own overheads down and pass savings on to customers.

Are the Big Six the cheapest energy suppliers?

Although they're the most established energy companies, the Big Six are rarely the cheapest or the most trusted - because they tend to all raise their prices areound the same time, they're often accused of using their high profile and levels of control to unfairly raise gas and electricity prices.

Such accusations have proven to be unfounded, following investigations by both Ofgem, the energy regulator, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), both of which oncluded that all of these companies had acted reasonably and responsibly, with regard to the setting of their prices.

The Big Six have traditionally dominated the gas and electricity markets, but figures from Ofgem shows that more and more smaller energy suppliers are eating into their market share - a situation that has undoubtedly been helped by the ease with which people can compare energy deals and switch suppliers.

This increased competition means you can save hundreds of pounds a year on your gas and electricity bills, just by swithcing away from the Big Six, as the table below shows:

Payment method Cheapest Big Six tariff Cheapest market tariff Saving
Direct Debit £1,050.87 £820.11 £230.76
Prepayment £1,028.21 £945.76 £82.45
Standard credit £1,028.21 £958.08 £70.13

As you can see, significant savings can be made whether you pay your energy bills via Direct Debit, which is often the cheapest payment method, prepayment meter, or by standard credit, such as making monthly or quaterly payments online or at the Post Office.


How to switch energy provider

If you've never switched energy supplier, it's probably a lot easier than you imagine - just grab a recent energy bill and enter your postcode here to instantly compare the best deals currently on offer.

For the most accurate comparison results, take a look at your latest bill and input the necessary information about your household's energy usage. Don't worry if you don't have those details to hand though, you can still run a comparison using estimations based upon the type and size of your house.

Then simply review your options, pick a tariff that suits and confirm your switch online.

And that's it, the switch should take 17 days - that's three days for the switch, followed by a 14 day cooling off period.

If you're worried about having to pay exit charges for ending your current deal early, bear in mind it's possible to switch without paying any fees up to 45 days before your deal ends.

And remember, switching supplier doesn't involve any drilling at your property, or new pipework being installed - your gas and electricity will be still be supplied through the existing pipes and cables, you'll just be billed by a different provider.

Home gas and electricity price comparison

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