More and more British energy users are learning that switching supplier can reduce their bills, industry watchdog Ofgem has reported, after announcing that over four million consumers switched in 2006.

<p>Switching numbers for the first 10 months of 2006 were 750,000 higher than for the same period in 2005 and, according to Ofgem, those who switched for the first time saved on average GBP150 on their energy bills.<br /><br />Furthermore, the research by Ofgem showed that the high level of switching is hitting the market shares of some of the former monopoly suppliers. British Gas&#0039; share of the household gas market has fallen below 50% for the first time. In electricity, the market share of former regional monopoly suppliers has also fallen below 50% in the North West, East Midlands, Northern, Midlands, and Yorkshire regions.<br /><br />Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: Energy customers have given expensive suppliers the boot with over four million moving to a cheaper supplier in the first 10 months of 2006. This dynamic market is most dramatically illustrated by British Gas seeing their share of the household gas market fall below 50% for the first time. This is clear evidence that Britain has the most competitive energy market in the world and that customers are taking full advantage of this.<br /></p>