Who are the Big Six energy suppliers?
The ‘Big Six’ is a collective term used in the UK to describe the six largest energy suppliers. Since the privatisation of the energy sector during the 1980s and 90s, these six industry giants – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, Scottish Power and SSE – have dominated both the domestic and commercial energy markets in the UK.
Over recent years, the industry has become increasingly competitive and consumer-driven, with nearly 70 registered energy suppliers to choose from as of 2020. This change has seen consumers encouraged to shop around more regularly, leading to a drop in customer loyalty and much higher switching rates. Despite this increased competition, the Big Six energy companies’ market share, when combined, remains around 70 per cent in both the gas and electricity markets.
As consumers have looked to take advantage of cheaper energy deals with smaller providers in recent years, it’s safe to say that the Big Six have adapted accordingly, become far more competitive and continued to dominate the UK’s energy market. Today, some of the best business energy tariffs on the market – both in terms of value and additional service extras – are provided by Big Six companies.
Who are the Big Six energy companies?
- British Gas
The UK’s biggest energy provider serving around 12 million homes and 350,000 businesses, British Gas is a subsidiary of the UK-based Centrica PLC which also owns Scottish Gas. As the largest energy supplier in the country, British Gas provides a wide range of energy tariffs to meet the needs of homeowners and businesses alike.
Thanks to its size, the company is able to offer a full range of commercial services for your business, ranging from basic fixed price gas and electricity tariffs and flexible 30-day rolling energy plans to full boiler services and renewable energy solutions. Additionally, British Gas offers a Carbon Trust-certified 100 per cent renewable electricity plan for businesses that are keen to take advantage of greener energy solutions.
- EDF Energy
EDF Energy, a subsidiary of the French government-owned Électricité de France, comprises former UK energy suppliers Seeboard, London Energy and SWEB Energy and is currently the largest supplier of low carbon electricity out of the Big Six. Supplying gas and electricity to almost six million customers across the UK, the company offers both fixed and flexible tariffs for businesses.
Naturally, as one of the Big Six suppliers, EDF provides its business customers with an array of services on top of its regular business energy plans. These services include access to its online management systems, 24/7 access to live customer service chat and free dedicated UK business advisers who can make sure your business is getting the most from its energy plan. Additionally, EDF provides extra help for new start-up businesses, as well assisting those keen to adopt more sustainable energy solutions.
E.ON is one of the biggest investor-owned energy companies in the world and serves over four million gas and electricity customers across the UK alone. The German-based supplier specialises in personalised domestic and commercial plans that take advantage of both smart and sustainable energy solutions to fulfil consumer needs. Whether it’s a family home or a business of any size, E.ON will have a tailored plan for you.
E.ON understands that a one-size-fits-all approach to business energy tariffs simply does not provide either the service or the value your business needs and expects. With this in mind, the energy giant offers solutions by specific industry, rather than just size or location. This includes bespoke plans for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure, commercial real estate, education, manufacturing, healthcare and many more industries.
Supplying energy to around 6.5 million residential and business customers across the UK, npower is the country’s third largest supplier of energy. Although initially founded as National Power in 1990, npower is now owned by the German-based RWE Group – one of Europe’s leading gas and electricity providers.
When it comes to supplying energy to businesses, npower offers both fixed price and variable energy plans and is completely committed to a blanket smart meter installation programme for all of its business customers. This devotion to smart technology allows the company to make it as easy as possible for you as a business to monitor and alter your energy consumption. Additionally, npower also operates a ‘Business Rewards’ scheme, which allows you and your staff to take advantage of a range of special offers and discounts on a wide selection of food, drink and entertainment activities.
ScottishPower supplies gas and electricity to over five million customers in the UK and is a specialist in SME energy plans. The company is now part of the Spanish Iberdrola Group, a leading company in the green energy industry and one of the largest suppliers of electricity in the world.
Thanks to its commitment to providing commercial energy choices that are clear and simple, ScottishPower is popular among SMEs and start-up businesses. Aside from being dedicated to becoming the UK’s first integrated energy supplier to generate 100 per cent green electricity through wind energy and smart grids, ScottishPower is also partnered with the Carbon Trust and is expert in providing its customers with free energy saving advice.
Alongside its regional brands (SSE Scottish Hydro, SSE SWALEC, SSE Southern Electric and SSE Atlantic) SSE is owned by British company OVO energy. As the UK’s second largest energy supplier, the company prides itself on its ability to facilitate an array of additional services to compliment its selection of competitive business energy plans.
SSE believes that every business is unique and requires an energy plan that properly meets its specific needs. Therefore, from SMEs and sole traders to larger businesses and multinational corporations, SSE consult specialist business energy advisers to help create a bespoke energy service that is tailored to your business’ essential requirements.
Time to switch suppliers?
If your business is looking for a new energy supplier, making use of the services of a business energy comparison and switching specialist, such as Utility Bidder, can be the quickest and easiest method. Sifting through all the jargon and special offers is not always easy alone. Find and compare all the tariffs the Big Six energy companies have to offer here, choose the best deal for your business, and let Utility Bidder handle the switching process for you. It’s as easy as that!