A simple question, however like most things energy-related, it quickly gets complicated and murky. Providing clarity and making the complex simple for customers, is a key reason that Jonstar Energy exists, so let’s explore this question.
At Jonstar Energy, we specialise in helping commercial clients find the business energy suppliers in the UK that they need to meet their gas and electric needs. However, helping you better understand the market can also help you better decide which are suited to meet your needs.
Here, we’re going to look at the question of how many business energy suppliers there are in the UK, as well as what you need to know about them.
How many energy suppliers are there in the UK?
With one of the most competitive energy markets in Europe, the UK has a wide range of different energy suppliers. The industry regulator, OFGEM maintains a list of all UK electricity and a list of all gas licensees including suppliers. At the time of writing (14 September 2021), the lists were last updated nearly a month prior (16 August 2021) and there were 112 electricity and 99 gas suppliers listed as ‘domestic & non-domestic’. The ‘non-domestic’ sections listed 55 electricity suppliers and 77 gas suppliers.
So, does that means there are 77 business energy suppliers in the UK, maybe 343 or 189? The answer is neither and further complicated by the fact that some energy suppliers have several legal entities registered but trade under a single trading style. Whilst those listed as non-domestic are clearly business energy suppliers, the ones listed as ‘domestic & non-domestic’ upon further inspection, includes suppliers that only supply domestic!
I scanned the list and spotted one which I recall being domestic only, checked their website, which was unclear and for the sake of accurate research gave them a call and asked if they help businesses. The answer was no, but then it became complicated and murky – you may be seeing this is a theme for the industry!?
After the no, I was advised “erm, I can check on the national database as you may be registered as non-domestic then we can supply you”. I queried whether it was appropriate to be supplied as domestic if I am actually a business, and if I am a business, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to update the national database”. I was advised to search for the national database contact details online and the agent then seemed keen to end the call!
We then need to factor in that energy suppliers are being created, but also going bust on what seems to be a never-ending basis, I spotted at least one electricity supplier that had gone bust since the date OFGEM last updated their list. Coincidentally I then saw an alert on a news feed that Utility Point & Peoples Energy have today ceased to trade!
Taking account of the above, I feel that trying to answer this simple questions is nigh on impossible! But how important is the answer? Probably, it is little value, although it would be nice if the regulator provided clearer information for consumers, I guess this is yet another gap in the industry we fill for our customers at Jonstar.
The differences between suppliers can further become a little confusing since there are energy suppliers that generate and distribute the energy, but there are also suppliers that buy energy on the wholesale market and simply sell it to customers without playing any real role in generating or distributing it. We also need to consider the green energy factor, but with all of the spin and ‘greenwashing’ in the industry, this topic really needs a dedicated blog post, do get in touch if you would like to explore as green energy is something we are passionate about at Jonstar.
Furthermore, many suppliers currently working in the UK serve the needs of commercial clients with specific business energy services and they also have different approaches to credit and product features. As such, you need to make sure that you are being specific when searching for the right suppliers and also know the right questions to ask.
The “Big Six”
Although there are dozens of business energy suppliers in the UK, there are six that stand out as being the biggest and most established of them all, the well known. “Big Six”.
- British Gas:
- EDF Energy:
- E. ON:
- Scottish Power:
These energy suppliers hold a market share of around 70% of all of the electric and gas supply in the UK, but the big six has been shaken up with E.ON purchasing Npower in 2019. It is still in the process of being assimilated by E.ON, with the latter rebranding itself and E.ON Next taking over 2m Npower customers earlier this year.
These companies currently supply 7 out of 10 households throughout the UK with energy and cater to a lot of businesses as well.
Jonstar Energy is constantly monitoring the performance of suppliers and tend to work with 30-40 who are able to provide competitive prices, reliable service, and security against going bust!
Which of the business energy suppliers in the UK is right for you?
If you’re a commercial customer, unpicking the market can be difficult. However, with Jonstar Energy, you can provide the information we need and we can compare quotes to help bring you the best deals specifically suited to your needs. Contact us today for more information.