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As SSE drop gas prices by 4.1%, just one ‘big six’ provider is yet to announce a cut

26 January 2015

SSE is the fifth ‘big six’ energy supplier to announce a reduction to its gas prices. The 4.1% cut will come into effect on 30th April and will reduce customers’ annual bills by £28, on average*.

SSE’s announcement today means that just one ‘big six’ provider is yet to play their hand. However, due to the frequency of the announcements so far, Gocompare.com’s energy experts predict that this will happen within the next few days.

SSE customers will have to wait more than three months to see any benefit from the drop in wholesale gas prices late last year. As of yet, E.on is the only big six provider to announce a cut to its bills with immediate effect.

Big six price cuts 2015

Date announced

Energy supplier

Reduction

Average saving in £*

Effective from

13/01/2015

 E.on 3.5%

£24

13/01/2015

19/01/2015

British Gas

5%

£37

27/02/2015

20/01/2015

Scottish Power

 4.8%

£33

20/02/2015

23/02/2015

Npower

5.1 

£35

16/02/2015

26/01/2015

SSE

 4.1%

£28

30/04/2015

TBD

EDF

TBD

TBD

TBD

*Saving calculated against an average bill £1,326 as calculated by Ofgem November 2014.

Despite a drop in wholesale prices of around 20%, not one of the ‘big six’ providers were able to pass on a saving big enough to position them at the top of the ‘best buy’ table. Currently, the cheapest tariff available on the market is challenger energy provider Extra Energy’s Fresh Fixed Price January 2016 v9, which was announced last week costs, on average £914 a year, a saving of £412 on the average household energy bill for a medium usage home.

Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: “So far, all of the price cuts from the ‘big six’ have disappointed customers who feel they should be getting more back from the near 20% drop in wholesale gas prices at the end of last year. Amid all of the ‘big six’ price cuts small provider, Extra Energy, has launched the cheapest fixed tariff in the UK, and challenger energy company Ecotricity cut their own prices by 6.1%, larger than any of the big provider’s cuts to date. If small energy companies have been able to pass on larger savings to customers, it begs the question as to why the big players haven’t done more for consumers.

“The length of time it has taken for some suppliers to pass these savings on to customers is also frustrating. Most cuts only come into effect after the winter months, where energy usage is at its highest. SSE’s announcement that this drop will only come into effect at the end of April seems particularly cold hearted.

“With one supplier, EDF, left to make a move, there’s still hope that some households could see significant savings with their existing suppliers, but from what we’ve seen so far, the chances of this seem particularly slim. Instead, it has been the challenger energy companies, such as Extra Energy, Ovo Energy and First Utility who have risen to the occasion in the 2015 energy price wars by putting out competitive tariffs and undercutting the prices of their bigger rivals.

“Considering smaller suppliers typically purchase their energy from their larger counterparts and effectively sell it on to their own customers, it’s confusing as to why the larger companies have been unable to match or beat small suppliers’ prices. Despite five of the big six announcing cuts, the cheapest tariff on the market is Extra Energy’s Fresh Fixed Price January 2016 v9, which households can easily switch to, online.”

All of the top ten cheapest dual fuel tariffs, including the Extra Energy’s Fresh Fixed Price January 2016 v10, the cheapest fixed term tariff on the market, are available through Gocompare.com’s energy comparison service.

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