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RP3: Who Hasn't Switched, and What Financial Gain Have They Missed?

This Research Package, led by Professor Catherine Waddams (Norwich Business School), explores the inequality of outcomes from non-participation in the energy market across electricity supply regions by identifying the ‘foregone savings’ of staying with the incumbent in each region since market opening.

Core research questions include: What are the financial consequences of not actively engaging with the energy market? How do the consequences of non-engagement vary across regions? Does this regional variation change through time and can it be associated with particular events e.g. interventions targeting ‘inactive’ consumers? How do regional variations link to the proportion of non-switchers and other regional variables?

To understand the responses of consumers to these changing opportunities, we are using existing CCP survey data providing representative samples of the population in 2005 and 2011 to identify the characteristics of consumers who stayed with the incumbent in their region. We are investigating whether the characteristics of consumers remaining with the incumbent changed between these two years as the number who switched suppliers increased, and are exploring the relationship between vulnerability and ‘stickiness’ over time. We are producing comprehensive descriptive statistics to provide quantitative evidence, depth and detail for RP 1 and RP 2

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