Big six british energy suppliers

The “Big 6” energy suppliers are:

  • British Gas
  • Scottish Power
  • Npower
  • E.ON
  • EDF Energy
  • SSE – Swalec, Scottish Hydro, Southern Electric and Atlantic


As competition amongst the best energy suppliers has heated up, we have seen the emergence of new energy companies aggressively acquiring market share at an impressive rate.

The top “New” gas and electric suppliers are:

  • Ovo Energy (acquired 3.5m SSE customers in September 2019)
  • Shell Energy (previously First Utility)
  • Octopus Energy
  • Bulb Energy


So why has this happened?

Ofgem, the energy regulator, encouraged new entrants to compete against the “big six” in order to give consumers more choice and ultimately to encourage energy switching which lacked behind other switching markets e.g. home insurance, at just 10% of consumers each year. As a result, this meant the vast the majority of UK homes were languishing on expensive Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) and paying an average of £300 a year more than they need to.

Fast forward a few years and the plan seems to have worked…a bit. The latest energy switching statistics show that around 19% of homes now switch their home gas and electricity each year. Whilst the growth in consumer choice and energy switching volumes has been welcoming (although let’s not forget it means 81% aren’t switching!), it has also had some downfalls namely due to poor customer service. As such, in June 2019, Ofgem (who energy companies are authorised and regulated by) announced plans to review market entry requirements and impose new rules to ensure consumers are protected. These measures include:

  • Ensuring new suppliers are financially stable to support their operations
  • Checking that directors and senior management are fit to hold a licence
  • Provide a customer service plan


This has been on the back of the collapse of a number of gas and electricity suppliers in recent years which has further fuelled consumer concerns when it comes to switching supplier.

With so much going on, and with so many suppliers and energy tariffs to choose from, this is where this guide comes in to help you learn about the different energy companies on offer when it comes to comparing energy prices.

As an energy comparison service helping consumers switch energy suppliers, we feel it is our duty to not only make energy savings but also to help consumers learn more about their energy supplier including:

  • Who they are
  • How they are financed
  • Whether they provide good customer service
  • How competitive their pricing is
  • How they generate their energy
  • Do they generate green energy
  • Do they offer Smart Meters

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