Big six supplier cuts gas prices (finally)

CSE can help with switching suppliers

13 January 2015

[Update: Big six suppliers British Gas and Scottish Power have also announced price drops; they are cutting household gas prices by 5% and 4.8% respectively. The reductions will come into effect in late February]

Energy giant E.ON announced today that it would cut its standard gas prices by 3.5% with immediate effect.

This will be welcome news for E.ON's customers and will cheer up the Business, Energy and Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock, who recently demanded that the 'big six' energy companies pass on to their customers the savings they have made from the fall in wholesale gas prices which are 30% lower than a year ago.

"It's about time" said Ian Preston, CSE's Head of Household Energy Services. "And just a shame this modest cut - the equivalent of £24 off an average households' annual household gas bill - couldn't have been made earlier in the winter to help the millions of families struggling to afford to heat their homes. Wholesale gas prices have now been lower for several months."

"Rather than waiting to see if other suppliers follow suit we'd recommend people look at what they could save by switching now."

Visit our switching site.

The energy companies are currently being investigated by the Competition and Market Authority. The investigation was triggered in part by the apparent failure of suppliers to pass on reductions in wholesale cost to their customers, particularly those who've never or rarely switched.

Many callers to our energy advice line have never changed their energy supplier, or have not done so for a long time. This means they miss out on the best deals - which suppliers tend to reserve for new customers - and are stuck on 'standard' (i.e. more expensive) tariffs.

As Paul Winney from the advice teams says "Customers who don't bother to shop around or switch are very likely paying far more than they need to."

To help encourage our callers to shop around and switch, we have a switching website - www.cse-switch.org.uk - run in partnership with energyhelpline. This enables us to explain the switching process to people at the same time as giving them a place to go to check their tariff and the options for switching.

To use the site, you need to know the name of your current supplier and tariff, and have an idea of the amount you currently spend on energy.

Switching sites have been in the news over the past few months due to claims that they can be misleading, because not every tariff can be bought through these sites or online. Our Home Energy Team is on hand to explain more and answer questions. And while we are talking to people about switching suppliers, we will also look into their other needs and give them the wider advice and support they need to keep warm at home and lower their bills - all in one package.

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