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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?


My concerns are the cut of 5% in gas is offset by standing charges going up by nearly 300% from 17p a day to 66p a day resulting in a rise in my bill. Why doesn’t the government fix the standing charge to 20p a day making the energy companies make real reductions in energy

Justin, my standing charge has remained at 21p a day for the last few years. I have asked Ofgem how they view a standing charge and which of the fixed costs (i. e. those not dependent upon consumption) should be included. Like you, I would like to see “rules” on the way standing charges are put together. Their view is they do not control this, but have left energy companies to decide how their tariffs are constructed. The standing charge can be zero, but you will pay more per unit because the costs have to be recovered somewhere; this will benefit low consumers. Or they can make a larger standing charge with a lower unit cost, appropriate to average and larger users. That gives a choice, and I am all in favour of choice.

I’ll come in a stir things up a little
We dont have standing charges where i am but we have expensive power
We are told that standing charges are there to cover billing etc as the meter man is the same for the OAPp as he is for a large factory and the same for the admin for sending out the bill

My point is that whether we consider these things as services or businesses has a lot to do with how we see this
Since privatisation I dont see them as services no more than a Tesco or Asda
Tesco does not have a admission charge at the door nor on the way out………..You wanna spend a load of money and throw it in the bin as many do feel free………….You pay to do that
Here our water has not been privatised as yet despite their best efforts
We have an allowance of “free water”………..Not sure what it is but its enough to cover a family and more
I regularly see people hosing down their driveways onto the road in summer………..Complete waste of good energy consuming resources……………
Everyone needs a water meter and everyone should contribute to the cause as such………….

I dont see why the pensioner should be charged the same as Michelin or Nissan……..The pensioners meter will be one in a long line down a street or road and at least 50% will be easy in the door out the door and the next one please
Whoever is not there gets and estimate
The same cannot be said of business many of which have security and many of which require a member of staff to accompany visitors and that requires waiting on……….
Then we have the big domestic user who has gates and security and only gets his meter read every few years and then argues about the reading being so high…………..I have a namesake who reads elec meters and he gets abuse about the high readings and near always from high users……This wastes time never mind the abuse………….

I am of the opinion that it is very simple………If you use it you pay for it…….If you are economical whether it be for monetary or tree hugger reasons you should not be fined for not using energy

I think the campaigning should be for an end to this silly standing charge……….We are about to enter and era of no meter man no office staff and we are given discounted for paying by DD or online…………….What’s the standing charge for………..The transmission lines and pipes are for everyone’s use equally we are told………
The heavier the loads the shorter the life
Water pipes wear out………The low water user does not contribute much to the wear
High energy users can and do cause a need to upgrade a line……….Is that the fault of the low user who is paying the same charge as the high user
Is the low user responsible for the need for a new interconnector,,,,,,no the low user would have been fine on the old connector………Its the wants of the high users that cause the expense…..

I’d do away with the standing charges except you’d probably be worse off not because you’d save as you should as ordinary domestic uses but because it would give an opportunity to BB to add on more than they really should to your per unit rate…..

You’ll not win with these energy suppliers……….simple

The standing charges I pay are the same for gas and electricity. With my previous supplier, the standing charges were the same for gas and electricity, but different from what my present supplier. To suggest that we are paying a standing charge for the fixed costs of energy supply is nonsense.

Until we get rid of standing charges, low users will continue to subsidise high users.

Wave you are 100% correct but we have no standing charges here and haven’t had for many years………
The reality is that whilst they removed the standing charge they simply loaded us even heavier……..
Yes remove the small user paying for the high user but it’ll need some policing because all the good will in the world did not work here

wavechange, please do not use “nonsense” for perfectly valid point. You may not agree with it, but you may not be totally right either. I have said before that there are some elements of an energy bill that are not dependent upon energy consumption. i have said they need to be agreed and used as a basis for a minimum standing charge. It is up to the energy company to decide whether its tariff should include a standing charge or not. Consumers can then choose the tariff that suits them best. You might disagree. for your own reasons, with the principle but that does not warrant condemning one person’s reasoned comment as “nonsense”.

I had not even read your point, Malcolm. DeeKay’s lengthy post reminded me that I had compared the tariffs of my current and previous energy supplier.

You pay, to the best of my knowledge, an amount via your energy supply company to the transmission companies for the use of the pipes and wires depending upon your consumption, On that basis no one is subsidising anyone. There is another charge for maintaining the security of supply. The energy companies seem to have discretion as to whether this in incorporated in the unit price, or in a standing charge. As we all are equally dependent upon this there is a case to be made for all consumers contributing equally. Around £38 in 2015 on an average dual fuel bill. However it seems to me it is just these kind of costs that need to be exposed, examined, and a decision made as to how they should be most fairly recovered.

In winter, switch to a High Standing Charge and Low Fuel tariff and in summer swap the other way, low Standing Charge and High Fuel tariff.

I’ve done this in previous years but not lately. Now I’m inclined towards a variable tariff and with a small supplier – GB Energy. They are cheap but in my opinion could be even less expensive.

Until our government grows a “pair” and forces these companies to disclose their profit/charging strutures we will forever be at their mercy,

Check out this web site: http://www.energybrokers.co.uk/gas/historic-price-data-graph.htm

It will show you the wholesale cost of gas that these rapacious energy companies buy at. To help, on 28th Nov 2014 the price was 58.27p (per therm – that’s 29.3 kWhour). On 5 Feb 2016 that price was just 29.42p.

That’s a staggering 49.5% reduction.

And we get 5-6%.

In my opinion they are “having a laugh”.

Zylpha E Reynolds-Wright says:
12 February 2016

when oil prices go up – they seem to be passed to consumer straight away – so that the share holders still get their money.
However, when oil prices go down – the prices to the consumer don’t move or only move veerrry slooowwly. and it usually is in response to one of the ‘competitors’ dropping their prices.
What we need is to go back to energy being owned by us/government. then, instead of having to sign up to Which or MoneySavingExpert to negotiate a block price – the government could do that for ALL of us.

Nice suggestion Zylpha – but, if this site is anything to go by, half the population wouldn’t trust the government to toss a coin correctly let alone control energy prices.

The only way we will have a fair energy market is if they are privatised, they answer to their shareholders not their customers. This Tory government will do nothing about it because most of them are on the boards of these company’s.

I’d be surprised if they were. Most of the Big Six are foreign and EDF is owned in the main by the French Government.

I do think these Big Six (and all the small tiddlers) are however treated like Starbucks, Google, Amazon etc etc.

Michael says:
12 February 2016

Just watch the standing day charges go up instead most properly they have been put up already.

Malcolm r made a good point a few hours ago.

I’ve been in communication recently (well, attempted to if I’m honest) with the M.D. of G B Energey Supplies Ltd. This is a small, new company offering, to be fair, the best tariff for non-fixed gas and electric dual-fuel.

However in the year I’ve been with them they have only recently (about 10 days ago) announced a reduction in their Gas fuel tariff. Their electric remains the same as it has been for 12 months.

They dropped one of their Standing Charges recently – cannot recall which fuel – by a very small amount.

I wrote to Mr Luke Watson and asked why he felt a 5.6% reduction in the gas fuel element was sufficient given the wholesale cost of gas in the UK has dropped by 40% in the past 13 months.

No specific answer beyond the purile diatribe one would expect from any company intent upon maximising profits.

They did try to suggest that the gas fuel cost at the wholesale level did not constitute their total gas energy cost – really?. I appreciate there are transmission costs, Transco cost and government Green Levies also included in their figures. However, the Standing Charge covers some of this.

So, let’s assume (as Malcom r said) that the Gas fuel cost represents, say, 30% of the true cost. Remember, Standing Charges covers some of their fixed costs.

If a chunk of gas at the wholesale level cost, say, £1 some 13 months ago it now costs just £0.60 (40% reduction). If gas represents 30% of the total cost then that equates to an 18% reduction at the retail level.

So, we should be seeing 18% reduction……….not the 5-6% offered.

We are being cheated.

I will again raise this matter with my local M.P. next week but will not expect anything significant to happen.

Just reading that Power NI (NIE) have reduced their electricity rates by 10%…………I was currently giving them 16ppkwh flat rate…………….So I now save 1.6p………….Thats big of them when energy has fallen to a fraction of last years price

This thread is about price decreases. This week E.On INCREASED their prices by 35% – yes 35%. But no one in the media seems to have noticed. Talk about getting what you wish for. After the Age UK storm the week before last, with everyone bleating about how expensive it was compared to E.ON’s cheapest tariff, what happened? E.On withdrew their latest available-to-all Fixed Price V19 and replaced it with Fixed Price V20, which is 35% higher. 35% HIGHER. When gas prices are falling all around us, one stupid ill-informed newspaper article provides the bandwagon for the ‘it’s so unfair’ anthem, and – surprise surprise – instead of the higher price falling, the lower price rises.

I’m on V19 and staying there. Good for me, tough luck on you.

Consider what you posted.
You said “When gas prices are falling around us….”
For that reason you should NOT be on a fixed tariff.
Check this website and the grapch it provides: http://www.energybrokers.co.uk/gas/historic-price-data-graph.htm

You will see how wholesale gas costs have fallen since end of November, 2014. Once you start to see a rise in this grapch (not expected until at least the end of 2016) you should THEN consider switching to a fixed tariff in expectation of rises from the suppliers.

Love to reply but site seems determined to stop me

This is what I wished to post:
Frustratingly, I posted (or so I believe) a response to you about 30 minutes ago but the site seemed to have problems accepting it and placing on the thread. I’ll try again.
In your post you stated “When gas prices are falling all around us….”.

It is true. Since 28th November 2014 the wholesale cost of gas has fallen steadily and consistently. Look at this web site: http://www.energybrokers.co.uk/gas/historic-price-data-graph.htm

The graph clearly shows the trend and if you check this on a weekly basis you’ll start to see when wholesale prices move upwards. This is reporterd in the press as unlikely to happen throughout 2016.

Whilst prices are falling you are better of on a variable tariff – whichever is the cheapest at any given moment. If you see a cheaper tariff enter the marketplace move – there’ll be no exit penaties as you’ll be on a variable tariff. Only when you start to see an upward trend in the wholesale costs should you select a fixed tariff in expectation of variable prices starting to rise.

I ditched my last fixed tariff about 18 months ago and have changed supplier three times since then. I suspect I’m paying less than you:

Gas rate is 2.94 pence per kWh standing charge: 11.025p per day
Electric rate is 10.0275 per kWh Standing charge: 21p per day
All prices are inclusive of vat at 5%

My gas rate recently dropped by 5.5%+ and is now 2.7825p per kWh incl.

This is what I wished to post:
Frustratingly, I posted (or so I believe) a response to you about 30 minutes ago but the site seemed to have problems accepting it and placing on the thread. I’ll try again.
In your post you stated “When gas prices are falling all around us….”.

It is true. Since 28th November 2014 the wholesale cost of gas has fallen steadily and consistently. Look at this web site:

The graph clearly shows the trend and if you check this on a weekly basis you’ll start to see when wholesale prices move upwards. This is reporterd in the press as unlikely to happen throughout 2016.

Whilst prices are falling you are better of on a variable tariff – whichever is the cheapest at any given moment. If you see a cheaper tariff enter the marketplace move – there’ll be no exit penaties as you’ll be on a variable tariff. Only when you start to see an upward trend in the wholesale costs should you select a fixed tariff in expectation of variable prices starting to rise.

I ditched my last fixed tariff about 18 months ago and have changed supplier three times since then. I suspect I’m paying less than you:

Gas rate is 2.94 pence per kWh standing charge: 11.025p per day
Electric rate is 10.0275 per kWh Standing charge: 21p per day
All prices are inclusive of vat at 5%

My gas rate recently dropped by 5.5%+ and is now 2.7825p per kWh incl.

OK; got it.
Soon as I try to offer the web site for the whoesale gas price I’m thwarted:

So, search for the following “spot price of wholesale gas in UK” and from the results look at Energy Solutions page.

Yes Mike – web links have to be moderated and at the weekends it takes much longer than usual. Your ‘work-around’ is the best way to do it.

Sorry, MikeCunliffe, you’re still paying more than me. My gas is 2.60925. But charges vary (and vary a good deal) by region so you cannot simply compare one user with another, so don’t feel hard done by! For me, V19 represented a 13.3% price decrease over V18 (to which I had switched only a week previously), and was best in whole market.

You’re implied point about exit fees is well made – V19 has an exit fee of £60 but EON has already confirmed that you can switch without penalty within the same company to a no-exit-fee tariff (takes one whole minute to do this online) and then immediately switch suppliers – so an exit-fee is not such a barrier as it might first appear.

At the moment I can save £37 a year by switching to a company with dreadful customer service. Hardly a bright idea and I’ve got better things to do than forever chasing the latest.

The reduction of 5% is a con, if this bankers boy Camron and EU chose the prices of gas and electricity could be reduced by another 20%, but this will never happen!

It is no surprise – that the Energy Companies are not passing on the discounts to the over priced Consumers!
Like most Private owned companies – they are only concerned with making a profit out of the Consumers misery! They then invest their money in tax avoidance schemes and make sure that their pension pots are full. They don’t care about the rest of us and they are happy to just keep increasing their prices – whatever the state of the Economy is! All private companies are greedy and that is why they get richer and we get poorer!The only way to stop this – is to re-nationalize all Public Service Companies and then you will get a fair deal!

So, Morag, all companies will then be nationalised and run as efficiently as the NHS for example. The NHS (Trust) bosses are a shining example of leadership and conscious that their salaries, paid by the tax-payer (not customers) should be pitched at sensible levels. When faults are found within their organisations they act in a public-spirited manner, fixing the fault, applauding the person who identified the problems (whistleblower!) and making everything public and open.

Whereas, a private company makes a fortune out of its customers (who can move elsewhere if they wish) and when found to be acting deceitfully or illegally is fined – thereby reducing the profits being passed to the shareholders whilst those fines are used for good causes thereby benefiting the general taxpayer. Poor leadership in these private companies sometimes results in the leaders loss of position, but, unlike the soon-to-leave HMRC boss, don’t always then result in an honour (Damehood etc).

The answer lies not in privatisation but in true, honest competition.

There’s definately something fishy about the recent 5% cut in gas from ALL the major providers. Why not a range of, say, 4% through to 9% (or better still, 18% through to 30%) Where a number of unconnected companies exhibit such a common action it appears to me that there’s a case for an independant investigation. What on earth is our Energy Secretary (Amber Rudd – Sec. of State for Energy and Climate Change) intending to do about this?

Your last paragraph is an excellent example of oligopoly or tacit collusion Mike.

Thank You Beryl.

In an Oligopoly small firms may exist but the large ones run the show and control all.

This might not be the case if people actually moved to whichever company offered the lowest rates at any given time.

Some of the smaller suppliers are definately cheaper than their larger competitors so we should move. I do.

If you’re at the mercy of the share holders then nothing is going to be what it seems. Essentials such as energy, transport, NHS and local services should never be privatised. Money drives man to do the craziest and naff things.

We cannot blame energy companies keeping prices as high as they can, they are in business to make money, the more they can make the stronger their position is in the market. The idea of shopping around is splendid in theory, but you switch, then twelve months later you find, your price has gone up and your old supplier is now cheaper, so you might have stayed with them all along.

Whilst I’ve been posting on this thread over the past days I’ve been undertaking some detailed research. I’ve been on the Transco site and Ofgem’s site. I spoke with Transco a couple of hours ago and I’m awaiting a response back from Ofgem. This is ahead of a meeting with my M.P. this evening. I’ve written to and had a response back from my supplier.

If you search for “Ofgem – outlook for costs that make up energy bills” you’ll be directed to an interesting page. A pie chart clearly shows that Ofgem believes the wholesale cost of gas represents 42% of the total costs for a supplier. (So, if wholesale gas costs have dropped 40% since Dec 2014 why only 5% drop to us when it should be 16.8%?)

On the displayed web page you’ll see “Related Links” on the right side. Select the second one titled “Understanding energy prices in Great Britain”. There are then two interesting further links offered – one about a letter sent by Ofgem to all the major suppliers and one about Outlook for costs that make up energy bills.

In brief, none of the available written responses from the major suppliers comes anywhere near to explaining the relationship between wholesale and retail gas prices – what I label “The Great Disconnect”. The Outlook for Costs provides graphs that show how dominant the big six remain. There’s a glimmer of hope as you’ll see that in the past couple of years smaller independant suppliers have entered the market and now provide 10% of the supply.

The greatest single hinderance to prices being squeezed downwards is the consumer’s desire NOT to move. If another supplier can provide cheaper fuel, switch – immediately. If you find, 2-3 months later that another one is now better – switch again.

It matters not if you bounce between A and B – it costs you NOTHING to make that switch.

How many of us have been told by Martin whatsit to ring SKY and suggest you’ll leave only to be offered a better deal, a discount or a freeby? The same logic applies to energy supply. If you keep paying a higher rate than another company you’re only adding to your supplier’s profits.

Mike, I am paying 15% less for gas than 2 years ago, by switching tariffs (fixed, fee free) with my existing supplier. They are now no longer the cheapest so I am switching to another supplier to save around £80 a year. Let’s hope they perform well. The basic switch was easy through their website; hope it goes smoothly. this is like shopping at Lidl instead of Waitrose (except the quality of gas and electricity won’t change).

You are right. Many people simply do not see it as worthwhile switching, although there are some who are not capable of doing so. Anyone on a standard variable tariff can easily switch to a fixed term and save significant money – that is, until everyone does it and prices will rise to restore profitability. You can take a horse to water, but…………………..

I signed up for a fixed rate contract with First Utility. Being on a fixed rate I do not expect a notice that my rates will suddenly drop. However, I did get a notice that said my anticipated usage had increased slightly, and that they would be increasing my monthly charges accordingly.
I wrote back to them acknowledging their notification, and reminded them that they were the ones who stipulated that my increased usage was only slight. And, then politely asked them how much consideration of raw fuel prices having dropped by 20 to 25% in recent months, had been included in their calculations. After something like a 4 week delay, I got a response saying that a wrong calculation had been used and that my charges would revert back to what they were. But they kept the 2 months extra payments I had made. You just can’t beat their mind set, to make profits anyway they can.

Usually a fixed rate contract means the prices you pay per unit are fixed for the term, but your monthly DD can be varied to avoid your account being too much in debit. The fixed price contract means just that – you’ve agreed to a price whether the market price goes up or down. Most fixed price term contracts allow you to leave without penalty, so you can choose a cheaper contract with your current supplier (if they have one) or switch online or by phone to another supplier.

malcolm r has nailed the reason.
I avoid this situation by looking at the kiloWatthours used for both gas and electric over a recent, 12 month period. Then, with a calculator I can work out how much I’m likely to pay over the next 12 months given the tariff I’m interested in. Divide that total by 12 and that’s what I tell the supplier I’m paying.
At this time of the year I’m often in debt to the suppliwer slightly but this will be zero again by May and they’ll owe me money by end October. It smoothes out over a year.

OVO paid a modest interest amount on any credit balance you had with them when I was with them a year ago.

And British Gas profits jump by 31% as perhaps one of the warmest winters on record passes
There is no need for this
This not a service nor a service provider……………Our once nationalised services may have been supposedly hard to keep up but put that against these profits and at least the wasted money mostly stayed within the UK
Like our NHS that eats up endless increases in funding yet the staff on the floor grow scarcer and are not replaced and there is little to no training incentives in place for nurses and floor staff have not even had a token wage rise in years………….
Get rid of the fat cats………………..

Our response from Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:

“With British Gas today announcing residential profits are up, customers will be asking why energy suppliers have only cut their gas prices by such a paltry amount. Previous Which? research found falling energy wholesale prices for both gas and electricity, which should have been passed on to consumers more quickly and generously in a competitive market.”


British Gas said gas usage rose by 5% despite the warmest December on record, as 2015 had more normal temperatures compared with a very mild 2014. No doubt higher usage was partly involved in increased profits
However, profits at its parent company, Centrica, fell by 12% to £1.46bn as wholesale gas prices fell sharply.

The last two years has seen a fall in wholesale gas prices of around 40%, which should mean a reduction of around 17% in your bill (raw fuel accounts for around 42% of an average bill). My gas has reduced by 15% with one of the “Big 6” in that time. Forward buying also complicates this – I wonder if sustained falls given the Middle East situation should have been expected?).

However, I would like someone, Which? perhaps, to track these factors and routinely advise us what gas and electricity target unit prices should be, so that we can judge our own tariffs against a benchmark. Otherwise we don’t have real information to decide whether, and by how much, we might be being overcharged or not.

Many will see a headline “wholesale gas prices 40% less than 2 years ago” (for example) and immediately wonder why their bills have not fallen by a similar amount. These things need explaining.

Since switching from SP to Ovo my monthly DD’s have been reduced by £40. Ovo’s system enables you to top up your account if your monthly meter readings show a deficit. This seems to work well because of their promise to pay you 3% interest on credit balances. So far this hasn’t been necessary as I can now better regulate my own usage, increasing my awareness of how it is possible to set a constant 68 degree temperature on the thermostat in the lounge which warms the room up and keeps it at a comfortable 70 degrees. I have in place a second thermometer which independently checks the temperature accuracy of the one controlling the boiler so I can turn this one down a degree or two if necessary.

If gas prices have fallen on average 40% this works out, if my maths are correct, at almost the same amount that I have saved since switching from The Big Six to a medium supplier. Ovo’s system puts you back in the driving seat so why can’t The Big Six follow their example and produce something a little more innovative and cheaper, or are they quite content to let their customers use more, increasing their profit margins at the same time.

For the first time since I moved to an online energy account, I feel under control – thanks to Ovo. I changed my direct debit because I have been at home recently and using more gas than usual. I was impressed that Ovo posted details of my new DD, though email would have done. In contrast, Scottish Power, my previous supplier, once put up my DD by 40% when I was well in credit and did not even send an email.

I was with Eon before i switched and was constantly lied to, proven so i went on Uswitch but even though i got the cheapest rates of that time i know i’m still getting conned. We should have a telephone number to ring to make complaints. Now it’s a 3 ring circus to make complaints.

Because the government has given the energy companies all these extra resposibilites like insulating roof spaces,cavity wall insulation,smart meters etc,it gives an excuse to mask there overheads,Energy companies should be stripped of these tasks and conentrate on delivering gas and electricity at lowest possible cost to consmers in a clear and transparent way.

When wholesale energy prices go down, the domestic supply companies have always shown a great reluctance to reflect this in their pricing, saying that they have bought ‘forward’ at a higher price or that the wholesale price is only 40% of the total price. However when wholesale prices go up their response time is much faster & none of their previously stated price criteria seem to apply.