Big six price wars
Last week saw much activity by energy market standards, with E.ON announcing a 5.1% price cut for standard rate plans and, at the same time, launching the cheapest plan on the market in more than four years.
The following day, SSE announced its own table-topping cheapest fixed plan, undercutting E.ON’s cheap deal to reign supreme.
Yet, by the following day, E.ON had dropped the prices of its cheap fixed energy plan, and was once again back on top.
Now SSE have announced a price cut for its customers on standard rate, variable plans of 5.3% or, roughly, £32 per year.
Amongst record-low wholesale gas costs, SSE is the third of the big six suppliers to have offered customers price cuts over the past year (British Gas announced two separate cuts in January and August 2015, for a total drop of 10%).
Merely ‘token gestures’?
While the price cuts are welcome news, the small size of them — as well as the delayed implementation of them — has not gone unnoticed.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said, “Not only is this another token-gesture cut but why should customers have to wait until after Easter to see reductions to their bills?
“Lower prices are good news but prices can and should be cut much further. Consumers should be seeing bill reductions of at least 10% – around £120 a year – on both gas and electricity, given record low wholesale costs.
“As three of the big six suppliers have now lowered standard prices twice since the start of 2015, the pressure is now well and truly on EDF, npower and ScottishPower to follow suit.
“Rather than waiting for meagre price cuts, big six standard plan customers should switch to cheaper fixed deals, saving more than £320 a year.”
Switch to get the best energy deal
As Robinson notes, energy customers looking to save on their energy bills need to run an energy comparison to find the cheapest deal for them.
With the average big six standard plan running households £1,090 per year, and the cheapest plan currently on the market costing just £765 per year, customers can easily save more than £300 pounds by switching.*