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.