So, you plan to open up a new business in the UK and you’re looking for the right company to provide your business with electricity. There are six major suppliers of energy in the UK (known as the Big Six) and several smaller companies that serve as an alternative to the Big Six. If you’re going to do business with them you’ll need to have a good idea about them.
The Big Six
The Big Six is composed of six of the biggest energy suppliers in the UK. These companies are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, Npower, Scottish Power Ltd., and Scottish and Southern Energy plc. These companies controlled 100% of the UK market share in 2004, but when smaller suppliers started appearing they lost about 19% to 20% of the market. These companies have been accused of predatory practices, profiteering, and employing cartel-like strategies. This is what helped the smaller companies gain more customers until the Big Six lost about 1/5th of the market to their smaller rivals. Nonetheless, 80% is still a big chunk of the market for six companies.
- British Gas. British Gas is the No.1 energy supplier in the UK. They serve 12 million homes and businesses in the UK, dominating the energy market.
- EDF Energy. EDF Energy is an energy supply company that’s also part of the Big Six and was founded in 2002. They serve 5.7 million clients and employ 13,300 people. They have investments not only in gas and electricity supply but also in nuclear power.
- E.ON UK. Founded in 1989, it was formerly known as “Powergen” though they eventually became a subsidiary of E.ON in July of 2002. Noted for other services: they provide solar power equipment and batteries, home insulation, and electric vehicle charging services.
- Npower. Founded in 2000 as Innogy plc, Npower Limited was bought by RWE and was renamed to RWE Npower plc. In 2016 the company split into two: RWE npower and Innogy SE, with their renewable energy division being moved to Innogy. Npower Limited hires around 11,500 people.
- Scottish Power Ltd. Founded in 1990, Scottish Power is one of the Big Six, with their headquarters located in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2000, it was able to acquire PacifiCorp, now PPM Energy. Iberdrola, a Spanish company made a bid to take over the company in 2007, after Scottish Power’s failed attempt to takeover E.ON, and succeeded.
- Scottish and Southern Energy plc. Scottish and Southern Energy plc (or SSE plc) was founded in 1998 and their HQ is in Perth, Scotland. As part of the Big Six, they employ over 21,000 people. Their services include telecommunication to both Ireland and the UK.
Some business owners would hire brokers like Utility Bidder to find them the right supplier of electricity that they can afford because it’s much more convenient. But while hiring brokers is okay, you as a business owner must have at least an idea about the people that you deal with or the companies your brokers deal with.
Aside from the 6 major players mentioned above, in the United Kingdom are also growing energy suppliers so you have a wide variety of options. Some of these less well-known providers do not only offer great gas and electricity rates but they also make sure that their customers are well taken-cared of before, during and after sales.
Here is the list of small energy suppliers that you may also consider.
- Affect Energy
- Angelic Energy
- AVRO Energy
- Better Energy
- Breeze energy supply
- Green Energy
- GB Energy Supply
- Bulb Energy
- Co-operative energy
- Flow Energy
- Future Energy
- E Energy
- M&S Energy
- OVO Energy
So before you put up a business, scout around. Look for the best energy provider that will suit well to your company. Consider the type of energy they provide, the price and of course, their customer service. You will be dealing with them for quite a while so you better make sure that they do care for their customers more than they care about anything else.