UK energy suppliers are facing stiffer competition as more companies begin selling gas and electricity to homes and businesses.
The number of suppliers has increased four-fold since the 1990s with smaller and medium-sized companies making up more of the market, said Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry, which commissioned the independent research.
The report found that nearly a third of all gas and electricity licence applications awarded in the three years up to October 31 2013 were given out in the last six months of that period.
The UK’s so-called Big Six energy and gas suppliers (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, Scottish Power and SSE) are also facing competition in the dual fuel arena.
There are now 12 companies offering dual fuel to households, up from six in 2011.
A spokesperson for Energy UK said: “Competition in the energy market is increasing and the pace of change is on the up.
“Around quarter of a million shop around for a new energy deal every month and they now have many more suppliers to choose from.”
When its comes to energy consumption, the study found that businesses use 70 per cent more electricity than households.
Gas coverage is estimated at 8.5 in 10 households with most buying their energy on dual fuel contracts.
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