Have the energy price cuts really made any difference?

A steel cooking pan on gas stove.
A number of energy suppliers have announced cuts to their gas prices in recent weeks.

British Gas and EDF have both now joined their fellow Big Six members in announcing cuts. British Gas revealed a 5.1% reduction which it claims will save the average customer £32 a year.

The supplier said that a whopping 6.8 million customers are currently on its standard tariff, and so will see the benefit of this price cut. It also highlighted that it is the only supplier to reduce prices three times since the start of 2015. The cut takes effect from 16th March.

Meanwhile EDF is cutting prices by 5%, with 900,000 customers set to see their bills drop by £31 a year from 24th March.

E.ON was the first, announcing a cut of 5.1% to its standard gas tariff price, effective from 1st February. It was followed shortly after by SSE, which cut prices by 5.3% effective from 29th March, and then ScottishPower announced a cut of 5.4%, effective from 15th March.

Finally npower confirmed earlier this week that it would reduce the price of its standard gas tariff by an average of 5.2%. However the price cut won't come into effect until 28th March.

Both the Government and the industry regulator Ofgem have put plenty of pressure on energy suppliers to reduce prices. Ofgem reckons the wholesale price of gas has fallen by a third over the last year and a half, yet suppliers have been slow to pass on cheaper prices to their customers.

Don't sit on a standard tariff!

It's very important to remember that these price cuts only apply to customers on standard tariffs. If you are on a fixed tariff, then your bill won't change.

The standard tariff is what you move onto when you get to the end of your fixed period, and is invariably the worst deal on offer from an energy supplier. So while these price cuts are welcome, the fact remains that if you benefit from them, you could actually save FAR more by shopping around for a new fixed tariff.

For example, if you are on a standard tariff from SSE, even after the price cut you will pay on average £1,068 a year for your energy.

That's hundreds of pounds more than with one of these great deals!

Energy supplier

Tariff

Type of tariff

Average annual cost

First Utility

First Fixed April 2017

Fixed (until April 2017)

£762.19

Go Effortless

Domestic Energy January 2016

Fixed for 12 months

£764.10

Extra Energy

Fresh Fixed Price October 2017

Fixed (until October 2017)

£770

So Energy

So Caterpillar

Fixed for 12 months

£773.24

Extra Energy

Bright Fixed Price October 2017

Fixed (until October 2017)

£775

Places for People

Together February 2017

Fixed for 12 months

£778.27

E.ON

Energy Fixed One Year v18

Fixed for 12 months

£779.32

Extra Energy

Clear Fixed Price October 2017

Fixed (until October 2017)

£781

npower

Fixed Energy Online March 2017

Fixed (until March 2017)

£782

GB Energy Support

Premium Energy Saver

Variable

£787

Prices based on average consumption as measured by Ofgem of 12,500kWh of gas and 3,100kWh of electricity and a customer paying by monthly direct debit including VAT.

See if you can save hundreds by switching to a new energy tariff

6 PHOTOS
Most outrageous bill mistakes
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Have the energy price cuts really made any difference?
Carol Sandford, 72, called 118 118 from her mobile phone unaware of the charges involved. Calls to the number cost £1.88 per call and there is also a £2.57 per minute charge from landlines. TalkTalk raises this to £5.68 for the first minute and £3.28 per minute after that. TalkTalk told Carol the charge £81.12 charge was correct but luckily 118 118 were kinder, offering to repay the charge in full. Read the full story here.
One Londoner was more than a little confused when his debit card was declined while he was trying to buy just six bottles of American craft beers. But he quickly realised that instead of the £22.30 he owed, he had been charged £223,000! It's thought he punched in the PIN number before the machine was ready and it added the numbers to the total. Luckily the 28-year-old saw the funny side and laughed the incident off. Read more on the story here.

Early Lewis from Detroit was amazed to find his water bill was almost 100 times as much as he was expecting. The bill claimed that Lewis had used 3,740 gallons of water in just one hour. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the Water and Sewage Department admitted it was a mistake and subsequently charged Lewis the $36 he should have been charged initially. Read more on this story here

George MacIntosh, 73, was charged a staggering £200 for premium-rate gambling texts he didn't intend to sign up for. Unfortunately this wasn't a scam but a legal service from a company called Zamano. It seems the retired vicar had accidentally signed up after responding to an initial text from the company. Read the full story here.
Philip Groves was amazed to receive a £1,411 bill from Vodafone last year for his 10-year-old daughter Trinity's phone. It turns out Trinity had watched 28 hours of instructional loom band videos on YouTube, assuming her phone was using wifi. But the wifi had cut out, leaving her phone using the data allowance at it's highest rate. Vodafone refused to cancel the bill and threatened legal action. Read more here
Daniel Pontin was in for quite a shock after opening a gas bill charging him £31,000 for a year's worth of gas in a one-bedroom home. Pontin claimed his meter was broken when he moved in and was initially charged £35 a month for six months before he stopped receiving bills. When the huge £31,000 estimated bill arrived Npower told Pontin to ignore it while they investigated. Read the full story here
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