Leading commercial energy supplier BES Utilities has seen its customer base grow by 20 per cent over the last year.
More than 40,000 businesses across the UK are now supplied by the Fleetwood-based firm.
New figures, released today, show BES has 29,052 electricity customers and 11,355 gas – up from 23,273 electricity, 10,375 gas in August 2014.
The rise in customer numbers has come at a time of increased competition in the non-domestic utility market.
A number of new companies have entered the highly competitive sector in the last year as research shows many customers are continuing to move away from the ‘Big Six’ suppliers.
Andy Pilley, founder and managing director of BES, said: “The fact we have grown our customer base so significantly at a time when there is increased competition in the non-domestic market shows BES is getting it right.
“We pride ourselves on looking after our customers and offering them the best supply packages for their business, whether they are a sole trader or a big manufacturing operation or high street chain.
“Being an independent operator means we can react quicker than the ‘Big Six’ suppliers to market trends and customer needs, therefore giving our customers the right bespoke package for them.
“We have invested massively over the last year to expand our customer service teams and these improvements in call handling and response times, together with our market-leading products, I firmly believe, have helped us increase our market share.”
BES is also at the forefront of the drive to roll out free smart meters which give electricity customers real-time information on their energy usage. To date, more than 70 per cent of BES electricity customers have a smart meter.
The BES group – which includes BES Commercial Electricity, BES Commercial Gas, BES Telecom and Fleetwood Town FC – has employed more than 50 new staff this year alone as part of its drive to improve customer service.
Its Fleetwood-based workforce now totals more than 450, making it one of the largest private sector employers on the Fylde coast.
BES’s growth comes as research by Cornwall Energy highlighted the increasing competition in the non-domestic energy market, with seven more companies joining the sector since May 2014.