Big Six energy suppliers

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The Big Six are the United Kingdom's largest energy suppliers, supplying gas and electricity. The Big Six are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power, and SSE.

As of Q3 2018, the Big Six hold a combined market share of 75% for electricity supply and 73% for gas supply in Great Britain. The Big Six previously held a combined market share across both markets of 100% in 2004.[1][2]

Big Six[edit]


Supplier Customers in the UK (Million) Parent Other divisions and brands Previous brands
British Gas 15 Centrica Scottish Gas
EDF Energy 5.6 EDF SEEBOARD, SWEB energy & London Electricity
E.ON UK 4.6 E.ON Powergen
npower 6.5 innogy Innogy, Northern Electric, Yorkshire Electricity
Scottish Power 5.3 Iberdrola PPM Energy MANWEB
SSE 9.1 SSE Group SSE Scottish and Southern, Southern Electric, SWALEC & Scottish Hydro

Possible consolidation to Big Five[edit]

In 2017 SSE and Npower announced a merger of their retail businesses[5], but this was scrapped in 2018.[6]

Just after the failed SSE-Npower merger in late 2018, it was reported that a consolidation to the Big Five would still occur, as Npower would be acquired by default by E.on UK due to the already-planned asset swap of the respective German parents innogy and E.ON. [7]

Ofgem investigation[edit]

In June 2014, energy watchdog Ofgem referred the energy industry to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The 18-month investigation is to conclude whether the big six have been profiteering and should be broken up.[8]

Alternatives to the Big Six[edit]

In December 2014, Utility Warehouse, part of FTSE 250-listed company Telecom Plus became the UK's biggest independent energy supplier through a £218m deal to buy 770,000 existing customers from npower.[9] In September 2014, First Utility announced it was the first independent utility supplier to reach the milestone of 1m customer accounts for gas and electricity – the equivalent of 550,000 customers, which makes it the seventh-largest energy supplier in the UK and the country’s biggest independent energy provider.[10] Since 2009, other entrants into the market include a number of new energy companies including Ovo Energy, Good Energy, LoCO2 Energy, Flow Energy, Spark Energy, the UK's first co-operative supplier - The Co-operative Energy - and, in 2015, the first local authority-owned energy company since 1948 - Robin Hood Energy. Many of these newer entrants are seeing significant growth in customer numbers, in part due to their greater commitment to renewable energy and, in the case of The Co-op, community renewable energy projects.[11]


  1. ^ "Electricity supply market shares by company: Domestic (GB)". Ofgem. January 2019. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  2. ^ "Gas supply market shares by company: Domestic (GB)". Ofgem. January 2019. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  3. ^ Information in this table taken from UK Power "UK Power" Check |url= value (help). 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  4. ^ E.On profits hit by UK customer woes. BBC News, 9 May 2017.
  5. ^ "SSE confirms merger with Npower". BBC News. 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  6. ^ Vaughan, Adam (17 Dec 2018). "SSE and npower scrap merger plan amid 'challenging conditions'". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  7. ^ Vaughan, Adam (28 Dec 2018). "Job fears for npower staff, with ownership transferring to E.ON". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  8. ^ Macalister, Terry (26 June 2014). "Ofgem puts big six energy suppliers under CMA spotlight" – via The Guardian.
  9. ^ "Utility Warehouse buys 770,000 customer accounts from npower in £218m deal".
  10. ^ "First Utility becomes first independent energy company to reach milestone of 1m customer accounts and pledges 1% of profits to charity".
  11. ^