The VaasaETT World Energy Retail Market Rankings for 2013 reveal a major reordering of the international league tables of market switching activity, with New Zealand knocking Australia off the top spot to become the new number one, and Belgium taking the title of most active market in Europe, while Great Britain slips to record low levels of activity in a region of dramatic change.

Record Breaking Switching

The VaasaETT World Energy Retail Market Rankings, which rank switching in all fully liberalised retail energy markets globally, showed that in 2012 and into 2013, the Australian markets were finally surpassed by New Zealand, which has been experiencing the highest annual switching levels ever seen in a competitive energy market anywhere in the World. The New Zealand market, which has some of the world’s most efficient switching procedures, a good supply of competitors and new supplier models, has experienced high levels of switching before, but never as sustained and progressive as in 2013. New Zealand is expected to lead the rankings for the forseeable future.

Deteriorating Competition in Europe

Of the 36 markets currently tracked by the rankings, 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. Great Britain is now estimated to be only the 14th most active market in 2013, with a rate of switching that is only considered moderately active. The deterioration in activity in both Great Britain and Australia has been closely linked to the end of door-step selling practices and the temporary easing, until recently, of retail price rises.

Great Britain has not been alone in terms of its direction of competition however, in general Europe has seen a reduction of competitive activity, in part the result of falling prices, something that is unlikely to continue (a detailed up-to-date picture of European energy prices is available at VaasaETTs Household Energy Price tracking centre: http://www.energypriceindex.com).

A bright light in European competition has however been seen in Wallonia and Flanders, ranked second and third in the estimated 2013 World rankings. In both New Zealand and Belgium, activity has been boosted by some outstanding marketing activity and committed supporting regulatory and public awareness campaign activities, compared to Great Britain for instance where attempts to protect customers from untransparency and unscrupulous retailer.

Texas Getting Hotter

In the history of customer switching, as shown by VaasaETT’s project, the only one globally to have tracked every market since the commencement of full liberalisation, Texas has been and continues to be one of the most consistently ranked active markets in the world. A market less influenced by regulatory whims than some other markets. In 2013 however, Texas is moving even higher up the rankings, moving up from 8th position in 2012 to 6th in 2013.

Get the Full Report!

The full report will be published in February 2014 – one month away on VaasaETT’s dedicated project website: www.utilitycustomerswitching.com

By Dr Philip Lewis, Founder & CEO of VaasaETT