The price of gas and electricity has seldom been away from the headlines this autumn.
The big six have taken it in turns to raise tariffs by eye-watering amounts, and politicians of every stripe have kicked the issue around in parliament like a highly charged political football.
Now, there appears to have been some progress on the issue, with a number of the big six members announcing measures intended to help consumers.
British Gas owner Centrica has revealed that it would cut its bills by £53 a year in January, while SSE said it would pass savings of around £50 onwards to customers. Meanwhile, Npower has vowed to freeze prices until 2015, unless wholesale prices were raised.
Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: “While any reduction in people’s energy bills is a good thing, today’s announcement is merely a tiny step in the right direction and there is still much more that needs to be done. Shaving £50 a year – or 96p a week – off people’s bills when prices have already increased by an average £105.50, still amounts to bills that are £55 a year more expensive, on average, than they were pre-winter 2013.
“Even though some providers have promised not to raise prices again until 2015, this comes with the caveat that if wholesale energy prices go up, so too will people’s bills. So while government intervention is an important part of taking control of the cost of energy, it’s also vital that householders take responsibility for ensuring that they are on the best energy tariff for them,” said Cryer. “Many people have already opted for fixed deals that protect them against price rises for two, three, or even four winters to come, and these tariffs won’t be affected by changes to wholesale energy prices.”