The rate of consumer shifts to alternate electricity suppliers slowed down in 2017 even though the total number of consumers leaving the main power utility PPC for independent suppliers nearly doubled during the same year, representing just 4.7 percent of the country’s low and medium-voltage connections, according to an annual market report published by RAE, the the Regulatory Authority for Energy.
A total of 186,446 low and medium-voltage consumers switched electricity suppliers in 2017, or 2.81 percent of the total, according to the RAE report. This represents a 78 percent increase compared to 2016, when 104,775 household and business consumers decided to change electricity supplier.
In 2016, the increase in the number of consumers shifting suppliers grew at a far greater rate of 263 percent, compared to 2015, when just 28,832 consumers changed suppliers.
The slowdown in the number of supplier changes has been attributed to a growing number of consumers settling at suppliers of their choice as well as the decreased number of customers leaving PPC as a result of its 15 percent discount offer for punctual payment of electricity bills.
The highest level of mobility was registered in the medium-voltage category, the number reaching 801 from a total of 10,331 consumers, or 7.75 percent.
In the low-voltage category, 185,645 consumers of 6,620,702 in total, or 2.8 percent, switched electricity suppliers in 2017.
PPC lost 143,842 low and medium-voltage customers in 2017 for a resulting customer base of 6,319,123 and remained the dominant supplier with a 95.3 percent share in these categories, according to the RAE data.
Protergia led the list of independent suppliers with 81,796 consumers. Elpedison and Heron made up the top three with respective customer totals of 76,161 and 51,348.