Gas and electricity Updated:
Many people begin to worry about the cost of their energy bills at this time of year, and with the cold snap setting in, it's little wonder. It's been a while since many people would have benefited from an energy price cut, too – the last time a major firm lowered their prices was in August, and most haven't changed their costs since last winter, despite the fact that wholesale energy costs have fallen dramatically since then. So where's your price cut?
Latest research from energyhelpline.com shows that wholesale gas prices have fallen by 51% since the last price rises and energy costs have fallen by 33%, while energy market analysts ICIS said that wholesale energy costs hit a five-year low at the end of 2015. Despite these drops, the average price cut passed on to customers has been a paltry 5% – and that's only on standard tariff gas bills – which means millions of homes are potentially paying far more than they need to.
"Energy companies could be doing much more to slash prices for consumers," says energyhelpline.com. Their calculations show that the reductions in wholesale gas and electricity costs could have been passed through to customers as price cuts of around 25% on gas and 11% on electricity, yet all they've seen is an average of 5% off gas bills and nothing at all off electricity bills.
"It's an absolute scandal that larger price cuts have not been passed on," said Mark Todd of energyhelpline.com. "Standard tariff customers are getting ripped off; loyalty does not pay. The only way to get a proper energy price cut is to switch."
The industry is being called on by commentators and Government alike to pass on the price cuts, but as yet, the message doesn't seem to be getting through. In the meantime, there's only one thing for it: be proactive and switch!
If you're coming to the end of a fixed tariff it's time to consider your options, and if you're on a standard tariff, you could save even more by fixing – up to £539, according to energyhelpline.com – so it could pay to see what's out there. Use our energy comparison tool to get started, and see if you can cut your bills down to size.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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