27th August 2015
Thursday sees British Gas axe its standard gas tariff by 5%, representing a £35 a year reduction on bills for just under 7m customers and the pressure is now mounting on its competitors to cut their own charges.
The energy supplier’s latest move follows an earlier 5% reduction to gas prices in February.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch however believes that “it beggars belief” that customers are still waiting for other major energy suppliers to follow its lead.
She added: “With wholesale energy prices at a five-year low, suppliers who are refusing to reduce bills further have a lot of explaining to do. A second wave of cuts will not only help cash-strapped consumers, but would also be an olive branch signalling the industry’s commitment to rebuilding trust and confidence with its customers.
“Although British Gas’ price cut is welcome, its average dual fuel standard tariff customer will see their annual bill cut by less than 3%. Single digit reductions in bills fall well short of the double digit drop in wholesale energy prices. Even after today’s price cut, there is a £320 a year difference between British Gas’ standard tariff and the cheapest deal on the market, so many of its customers would be better off by switching.”
Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket agrees that the other ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers need to also bring down the cost of energy for their millions of customers.
He said: “We welcome moves to bring down the price of energy for consumers, especially before winter. If anyone is still paying for a ‘standard’ energy tariff from their supplier the best thing they can do is jump onto one of the cheaper tariffs currently available at around £200 cheaper. As we saw in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Energy Market Report, the biggest proportion of the nation’s energy customers, around 70 per cent, are sitting on the most expensive standard tariffs with many of them never switching to a cheaper deal.”
Big six suppliers’ standard plan price changes 2015
Source: uSwitch.com. Correct as of 27th August, 2015
Big six suppliers’ standard plan prices
|Supplier||Plan name||Standard plan (paying on receipt of bill)||Standard plan (paying by monthly direct debit)|
|E.ON||E.ON Energy Plan||£1,215||£1,145|
|EDF Energy||Standard (variable)||£1,228||£1,155|
Source: uSwitch.com. Prices correct as of 27th August, 2015