First Utility, the UK’s fastest growing energy company, today announced it is the first independent supplier to reach 1 million customer accounts. The significant milestone follows consistently high growth, which has seen a ten-fold increase in customer numbers in under three years. The company now serves more than 550,000 customers, most with both gas and electricity, equalling more than 1m accounts. It is also the only energy supplier to be ranked in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 every year since 2011.
First Utility’s growth means it now accounts for over 2% of the residential energy market, while the Big Six’s share has reduced from more than 99% in 2011 to 92% currently1. It is First Utility that is at the vanguard of this dramatic change.
Saving customers over £100m
The company’s growth has been led by its low-priced energy tariffs. Since 2008, First Utility has saved its customers over a collective £100m - more than any other supplier - by continuously offering low prices. It has been the cheapest energy company on the market for a staggering 23 out of the last 35 weeks during 2014 - with current savings of £213 a year - and has been the only energy supplier with a tariff below £1,000 in the market every week since April2. Its unique Price Promise also ensures its standard tariff will always be cheaper than the Big Six standard tariffs3.
It has been First Utility’s strategic partnership with Shell that has put it in such a strong position to grow. Shell’s scale and expertise means First Utility can competitively source electricity and gas and these savings can be passed onto its customers.In becoming the first independent energy company to break through 1m accounts, First Utility has led the wider shift in the energy sector. While the Big Six still dominate the market, their share is being eroded by independent suppliers. For the first time ever more people switched to independent suppliers than the Big Six in May 20144.
Ian McCaig, CEO, First Utility, says:
“Hitting the 1m milestone is hugely significant and proves how much of a shake-up was necessary in the market. We have been at the forefront of bringing lower energy prices and better value for the UK consumer and have consistently campaigned for a fairer more transparent UK energy industry. Halving switching time was a great achievement, but much more needs be done and now.
“We are particularly delighted that our customers have saved so much by joining us and want to thank them for supporting us through a period of such amazing growth.
“Our promise to them is to keep finding ways to bring household energy bills down. Forever.”
The Rt. Hon. Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, says:
“The number of energy suppliers has almost trebled since 2010 thanks to Government action to open up the energy market and break up the stranglehold of the big six.
“Reaching one million customer accounts is a fantastic milestone for First Utility. With over two million customers now signed up to independent suppliers overall it’s clear that households increasingly trust them and are benefitting from competition in the market.”
Steve Weller, CEO at uSwitch.com, says:
“This is a great achievement by First Utility as more and more people are voting with their feet and switching away from the big six to newer providers, in pursuit of lower prices and better service. Today’s news is a vote of confidence to new entrants, and provides a much-needed wakeup call to the big six – if they want to hold on to their customers, they need to raise their game. Smaller suppliers are representing a real threat and are here to stay.”
1. Latest figures including published data compiled by independent strategic energy market intelligence organisation Cornwall Energy.
2. Customers switching both gas and electricity at www.first-utility.com between 1st March 2014 and 22nd June 2014 are projected to save an average of £213 per year. The over £100m estimated savings figure assumes that each customer (550,000) has saved £213.
Prices vary by region and usage. The calculations and comparisons used here are based on OFGEM average usage data of 3,200kWh of electricity and 13,500kWh of gas at the national average