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A fall in gas prices is on its way, but is it enough?

energy prices

All of the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers have now announced gas price cuts, as have a number of the smaller suppliers. They took their time, and it’s some welcome news, but do you think these price reductions are enough?

Today, EDF and British Gas became the last of the Big Six energy companies to announce they are reducing their standard gas prices. EDF will drop their price by 5% from 24 March and British Gas will drop by 5.1% from 16 March (British Gas announced a previous drop of 5% in August 2015).

Gas price reductions from the Big Six are:

  • British Gas: 5.1% cut to standard gas price from 16 March
  • Npower: 5.2% cut to standard gas prices from 28 March
  • SSE: 5.3% cut to standard gas price from 29 March
  • Scottish Power: 5.4% cut to standard gas prices from 15 March
  • EDF: 5% cut to standard gas prices from 24 March
  • Eon: 5.1% cut to standard gas prices from 1 February

Price drops are always welcome news, but we’re not convinced it’s enough.

Worried about costs

The latest stats from our Consumer Insight Tracker reveal that 63% of UK consumers are worried about energy prices. And we know that this is a sentiment that will certainly ring true with many of you.

We’ve had an overwhelming response to our Fair Energy Prices campaign. More than 355,000 of you have signed the campaign, and many of you shared with us your concerns about energy bills

We’re still in winter and no one should have to decide whether they can afford to heat their home when it gets cold. We need action sooner, not later.

Competition concerns

In 2015 our research found that household energy bills should be reduced to reflect lower wholesale energy costs. And then last month, we saw in the news that wholesale gas and electricity had fallen by nearly a third in year to a five year low.

There are many people in this country, particularly the vulnerable, who struggle to pay their energy bills in winter. While we’re pleased to finally see these price cuts from the Big Six, the similarity between the cuts announced raise some serious concerns about how competitive the energy market really is.

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So what now?

Well, this morning the Secretary of State for Energy, Amber Rudd MP, said:

‘It’s a good start but the Government expects all suppliers to pass on reductions in the costs of supplying energy to consumers.’

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the energy market for some time now. We’re expecting an announcement on its final proposals for fixing the market imminently. With the average customer score for satisfaction from their energy company being just 53%, and the fact that price cuts are not being seen across all energy suppliers, it’s vital that the CMA fix the broken market sooner, not later.

So are you pleased to hear a reduction in energy prices? Or do you think that more needs to be done?

Comments
Member

I have been ripped off by Age UK via e-0n. I am disgusted.

Member

You are not alone

Member

This really is iniquitous if you were badly served by a voluntary group. I would suggest that you complain to Ofgen if you can’t get satisfaction from the supplier.

Member

Age UK is being investigated by Ofgem over this issue.

Member
Paul Frew says:
21 February 2016

I keep intending to switch suppliers, but due to age and infirmity never seem to get round to it. It is on my list of things to do. However, making people switch demonstrates the insanity of Thatcherism. Renationalise, with no compensation.

Member

C.A.B. would probably help you if asked, also your local council might also help. It’s certainly worth a telephone call to see if they provide such a service; why not try their main switchboard and ask?

Member
Maureen Geddes says:
22 February 2016

I was persuaded to switch last year and it was a nightmare. Why do we have to ? Why cant all providers offer a fair price? Why do we have to have all these suppliers?

Member

There’s probably a case for legislation here – Ofgen don’t have nearly enough power and complaining to them is a lengthy rigmarole as I know from past experience.

Member

Have been with EDF for a number of years, and I have joined the trend and switched to OVO energy, I found it quite easy to change and I am saving £19 per month.