On the day that British Gas raises its prices by 22% and Powergen announces that its are to increase by 24%, Nielsen//NetRatings reveals how the UK online population has been flocking to energy sites throughout February as the major suppliers began announcing large price increases in response to the rising wholesale price of gas. British Gas experienced a 37% monthly growth in visitors from 437,000 in December 2005 to 597,000 in January 2006. uSwitch experienced a 72% monthly growth in visitors across the same period (325,000 to 559,000 visitors). Over 1.6 mln people visited an energy website in February 2006.
The number of visitors to energy websites peaked at over 215,000 on the 27th February ? the day before Powergen officially announced its price rise and two days before British Gas increase came into effect. The day after British Gas announced its price increase, the number of visitors to Powergen.co.uk peaked at 61,311. Visitors to the house.co.uk domain (part of the British Gas brand) peaked at 88,023 on the 22nd February ? five days after their price increase announcement. Visitors to uSwitch.com peaked at 75,329 on the 23rd February ? six days after British Gas announced they would be increasing prices.