Have the energy price cuts really made any difference?

All of the Big Six suppliers have cut their gas prices, but it doesn't mean they're cheapest.

Updated: 

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

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