March 12, 2018 / 12:22 AM / 9 months ago

Record number of UK energy customers switched supplier in February

FILE PHOTO - An electricity meter is seen in London, Britain August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - A record number of British energy customers switched supplier in February, data from industry group Energy UK showed on Monday.

* 668,000 customers switched during the month, the highest monthly switching figure recorded, despite February being the shortest month of the year.

* The data comes as Britain’s energy firms are under pressure to reduce bills and as regulator Ofgem prepares to issue a price cap on the most widely used tariffs.

*It also continues last year’s trend when a record 5.5 million customers switched in 2017 up from 4.8 million in 2016, Energy UK said.

*The data does not show exactly which companies gained or lost customers but shows almost half the switches were between large suppliers, while almost a quarter of switches were from larger firms to smaller suppliers.

*There are now over 60 energy suppliers in Britain.

*Britain’s big six energy suppliers, controlling around 80 percent of the market are Centrica’s (CNA.L) British Gas, SSE (SSE.L), E.ON (EONGn.DE), EDF Energy (EDF.PA), Innogy’s (IGY.DE) Npower and Iberdrola’s (IBE.MC) Scottish Power.

Reporting By Susanna Twidale, editing by David Evans

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