Well, that's another Christmas been and gone: presents gleefully unwrapped and forgotten about two days later; The Great Escape on the telly for the thirtieth consecutive year; the turkey leftovers fed to the dog, the mince pies fed to yourself...
And with 2016 already upon us (2015, it's just so last year), we thought it would be a good time to give the past twelve months one quick, final glance in the rear view mirror before forging ahead into a new year.
So, 2015 - what did it mean for the energy market?
• A (Slightly Less) Big Six
Whilst the big six energy companies still control the vast majority of the market share, 2015 saw their grip further eroded. Britain's smaller energy providers now make up 13.4% of the gas and electricity market, up from 2.6% in 2013 and a mere 0.2% in 2009. The main reasons for the continued trend is a wider variety of tariffs allowing customers to shop around more and a desire for better customer service.
Which brings us neatly to:
• A Growing Gap
Recent figures from First Utility show that the gap between the average domestic Big Six tariff and the cheapest tariff on the market grew by nearly a third. They claim that customers on a Big Six standard variable tariff paid £305 more than those on the cheapest tariff - up from £232 the previous year. Proof, if it were needed, that there's a lot of value to be found in shopping around for your energy supplier.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the smaller providers:
• The Challenges of Choice
Whilst the newer energy suppliers have been eating up market share, they experienced their own problems in 2015: September's Citizens Advice complaints results showed that just one non-Big Six supplier made the top five in terms of least complaints received. It appears that the growth of business experienced by the newer suppliers has lead to a comparative growth in complaints received, as they don't (yet) have the infrastructure to catch up with the demands for their services.
• A Smarter Year
2015 saw the continued rollout of smart meters to our homes and businesses. And whilst there may be some debate as their structured rollout (this very week it was confirmed that installations will be postponed as EDF Energy workers go on a five-day strike next week), we think smart meters help put you back in control of your bills, helping you see where you are over-consuming and helping you understand how you can make your business more energy efficient.
So, that was the year that was - a year of expanding opportunities for customers when choosing their suppliers and tariffs and one of improving technologies to keep you in control of your energy outputs.
But an increased array of energy options can cause increased confusion - and that's where our experts at Smarter Power can help. So if you have any questions over which tariff might be right for you and how we might help to save you money, give us a call on 0330 333 4107.
Here's to a wonderful - and cheaper! - 2016.