A snapshot of our latest domestic market share results were published by Energy UK last week, revealing that once again we have seen more new entrants into the domestic market. There were two new dual fuel suppliers that begun supplying during the three months to 31 October with four more registering electricity supply volumes since.

Robin Hood Energy launched its national and regional tariffs in September, gaining much publicity in the media during the month. The supplier has followed the preferred route to market of many competitively priced independents, using online price comparison websites to access the national market. Its regional branding has also resulted in a strong local performance this quarter, recording increasing supply volumes in the East Midlands area.

This regional focus has become a defining feature of the quarter, with Newcastle based Future Energy entering the domestic market. Supplying in the Northern distribution region, Future Energy has so far focused on local advertising and brand awareness around the area. While its fixed deals are not as competitively priced as a number of other smaller suppliers, it has been promoting itself on social media using comments from customers that have switched.

Following record switching levels in October, Independent suppliers have collectively gained significantly this quarter, eroding the Big Six's share to just 85.6% in the dual fuel market and 88% or lower in the electricity and gas markets. Competition to be the cheapest supplier during the quarter has been fierce, with Extra Energy and First Utility battling it out to offer the best deal. However, they have once again been defeated by GB Energy's variable tariff which remained cheapest for most of the period. GB Energy has again performed well, and has continued to gain media coverage amidst the traditional point in the year where colder weather starts to make the headlines with rising bills.

But the Big Six have not been idle. RWE npower priced its one year fixed tariff very competitively at the end of October after struggling to recover from customer losses. It was the cheapest Big Six supplier for several weeks and was priced lower than most independent suppliers. However, in the current market, lowest cost is not the only factor considered when switching.

Regional strategies have also been implemented by the Major Suppliers. During the last year, Scottish Power, EDF Energy and RWE npower have priced more competitively in certain regions of Great Britain. In the three months to 31 October 2015, we generally found that these competitively priced regions gained dual fuel customers, whilst regions that were not priced as competitively either slightly lost customers or stayed stable.

Looking ahead, new supplier entry appears set to continue for the foreseeable (provided wholesale prices remain low). In the last 12 months we have recorded at least one new entrant each quarter, and we expect to see the addition of several more over the next 12. Specifically, we have seen the official launch of Bulb late in the quarter, whilst So Energy, Bristol Energy and Places for People launched in November, and Avro Energy in December.