The announcement follows a statement from rival energy supplier ScottishPower, which said it would introduce cuts on 31 January 2014, but not for those on fixed price deals.
Group Managing Director, Retail at SSE, Will Morris said: “We’re expecting these savings to come through from April, and that means it will cost us less to supply people with energy in 2014/15 than it would otherwise have done.
“So we are cutting the unit rates for customers on our variable tariffs by an average of 3.5% from 24 March 2014. When costs go up, prices eventually have to go up. When costs come down, so can prices. It’s that simple.”
Morris also criticized some of SSE’s competitors and said that in his view it was unacceptable “to penalise customers on fixed and capped price tariffs for their loyalty by excluding them from these cost savings.”
Reduction doesn’t help consumers ‘in the winter, when they need it most’
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said: “This is a welcome announcement. However, expecting customers to hang on until 24th March for this reduction misses the point which surely must be to help consumers now, in the winter, when they need it most.
“While SSE has done the right thing by ensuring that all its customers will benefit, it loses the moral high ground by making them wait up to three months longer than those with other suppliers.
“However, it is good that SSE has made a firm commitment not to increase prices again before spring 2015, as long as there isn’t a substantial and sustained increase in wholesale energy costs, network costs or new policy-related costs. This will give consumers some valuable breathing space, which they should use to bring their own bills down.”