The big six lost 660,000 customers in 12 months to a new breed of cheaper energy suppliers

Independent providers now hold 13.4 per cent of the market - a 50 per cent rise from 9 per cent last year

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The Independent Online

We're turning our backs on the big six energy giants and moving to a new breed of cheaper suppliers. New data from Cornwall Energy shows that independent providers now hold 13.4 per cent of the market - a 50 per cent rise from 9 per cent last year.

First Utility continues to be the fastest-growing and now holds 4 per cent of the dual-fuel market with 765,000 households. The big six companies – British Gas, EDF, E.on, npower, Scottish Power and SSE – have in effect lost 660,000 customers in the past 12 months. Robert Buckley of Cornwall Energy said: “The independents collectively now hold the fourth-largest share of energy accounts in the market.”

Richard Lloyd, executive director at the consumer group Which?, said: “The big six have repeatedly failed to deliver a decent standard of service, so it's no wonder customers are starting to leave them in droves. Despite this, the Competition and Markets Authority has found there is a lack of competition, which is leading to people paying much more than they should. We now need ... radical changes to boost competition, introduce fairer prices and encourage more households to switch to better deals.”

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