Following the liberalization of the Ukrainian gas market for households from August 1, 2020, approx. 13 million households have the opportunity to freely choose any natural gas supplier on the market. A relatively fast and consumer-oriented supplier switching process is one of the necessary prerequisites for the development of retail market competition.
The switching process partly mitigates the risk of vulnerability and enables competition by reducing barriers to entry and marketing of suppliers to obtain new customers. USAID Energy Security Project (ESP) has initiated comprehensive research on gas supplier switching by household consumers, from the point of view of those who have already switched and those seeking information to switch or attempting to switch. It is expected that the research findings will lay the foundation to improve switching procedure by identifying challenges and gaps, which will help to develop potential improvements to the switching process.
The ESP is conducting the research in cooperation with the research agency, Info Sapiens. The research consists of three stages: 1 – desk research of the media field, 2 – a quantitative study of household gas consumers and 3 – a qualitative study of consumers who had a successful experience of switching suppliers or tried to switch suppliers but faced barriers.
The first stage, studying of information messages related to the gas supplier switching in the media field is completed. The subject of the research was both analytical and news materials and messages describing the personal experience of consumers.
Now the USAID ESP and RA Info Sapiens work on the quantitative and qualitative studies of consumers who had a successful experience of switching suppliers or tried to switch suppliers but faced barriers. When the quantitative and qualitative study results are processed, the USAID ESP and RA Info Sapiens will publicly share the findings with the study.