A COTSWOLD energy firm has had to take on more staff to cope with number of new customers that have switched to it in recent months.

Ovo Energy, which was founded in Kemble before moving to Bristol, confirmed that following a price hike by the Big Six in November its clientele had dramatically increased.

A spokesman for the firm told the Standard: “We’ve been able to employ nearly 100 new members of permanent staff in the local area to help us cope with the influx of new customers coming on board.”

The company, which still holds an office in Kemble, also said that the appearance of its managing director Stephen Fitzpatrick at a House of Common Select Committee in October also prompted customers to change their supplier.

Giving evidence to the committee, he criticised the Big Six for putting up their energy prices at the start of the cold winter months.

He said: “It looks to me like a lot of energy companies, a significant number of the Big Six, are changing the maximum price they feel they can get away with to the customers that they feel will not switch under any circumstances and then maintain the illusion of competitive pricing.”

Ovo had another reason to celebrate this week after coming fifth in the Which? annual list of best and worst energy companies.

The Cotswold firm made the top five beating the likes of British Gas and Npower which were ranked sixteenth and seventeenth, respectively.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who described the results as “fantastic”, said he hopes it goes a long way in getting people to change energy company.

He said: “There are still millions of people who are paying over the odds for their energy. Four in five people will not change their energy provider.

“The Which? survey has shown the public that there are plenty of options out there and consumers will be much better off for making the switch.”

Visit www.ovoenergy.com for further information.