Gas and electricity Updated:
Over the last few weeks we have seen some of the Big Six trimming the cost of their gas prices after the Government and consumer groups piled on the pressure to pass on savings in wholesale gas prices. And today it was announced that customers of British Gas and EDF will also now be able to enjoy some cheaper prices.
British Gas and EDF are the last of the Big Six to announce that they are reducing the cost of gas for their customers - E.ON led the way in January with a price cut of 5.1% for all of its dual fuel customers, swiftly followed by SSE – but once again, suppliers have been criticised for not going far enough to help lessen the burden of customers' bills.
British Gas has announced that its gas prices will be cut by 5.1% while EDF will be reducing prices by 5%; however, both cuts only apply to customers on their standard gas tariffs and neither of them will apply until March, meaning customers will continue to pay the old rates for the rest of the winter.
Once again, both suppliers cited "other costs" for their inability to reduce prices even further. Beatrice Bigois of EDF Energy said: "Our prices are under constant review and today's announcement reflects falls in wholesale gas costs. [But] there are other costs impacting customers' energy bills that are beyond our control – these increased steadily in 2015."
Customers on standard gas tariffs may be able to benefit from slightly cheaper gas when winter finally ends, but the savings made by the price cuts could be completely outweighed by the money saved if suppliers are switched; a fact Mark Todd of energyhelpline.com is keen to emphasise:
"If you want a cold home and a big bill, stick with the other 70% on an overpriced standard tariff. If you want a reasonable price and a warm home, you must take a few minutes to switch. The UK energy market is a ruthless place; if you don't shop around, you will get ripped off."
So, why not see how much you could save? You may want to take a look at smaller, less well-known suppliers – these often have cheaper deals and better customer services records, so think about factoring them in when you compare prices. Whatever you do, if you're unhappy with the service you're receiving or the size of your bill, shop around! You may be surprised by how much smaller your energy bills could be.
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