Thu, 12 Jan 2012 11:20:36 GMT | By

Two more energy giants announce price cuts

British Gas and Scottish & Southern Energy have joined EDF in cutting its energy prices.

British Gas and EDF have cut prices (© Katie Collins - PA Wire)

British Gas and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) have both announced small price cuts for their energy customers.

British Gas has reduced its standard electricity prices by 5% from today as the energy price war really starts to heat up.

It says that the cut will save its 5.3 million single rate electricity and dual fuel customers on a variable tariff £24 a year on average. It won't apply to people who are on Economy 7 or have already fixed their tariff.

British Gas claims that this cut now makes it the cheapest major electricity supplier in Britain.

Meanwhile, SSE says that it will reduce the typical gas bill of its customers by around £28 a year. If you're an M&S Energy customer, you'll also benefit from the price drop.

However, Consumer Focus says SSE is not applying the price cut to its standing charge - the daily charge customers have to pay to the supplier - so the real price cut is actually 3.8%.

Big drop unlikely
Back in August, British Gas raised its electricity prices by a whopping 16%, so it's debatable if any existing customers will see a noticeable drop in their bills.

Yesterday, EDF cut its gas prices by 5% in response to the falling wholesale price of gas. And it's more than likely that the rest of the 'Big Six' - E.ON, npower and Scottish Power - will now follow suit.

Smaller suppliers Ovo and Co-operative Energy have gone one step further by both reducing their dual fuel tariffs in recent weeks.

Switch or wait
Despite the forecasts of further price drops, it's still well worth comparing rates and seeing if you could save.

If you haven't switched tariffs in a while, chances are you are on the standard and most expensive rate. Changing onto a fixed or online tariff could cut your bills immediately. Yes, rates could continue to drop in the coming months. But if you do decide to stick on a pricey deal and wait around for them, you could see the excess you're paying now outweigh any future savings.

So with that in mind, here are the current cheapest energy tariffs:

TariffAverage cost*Average saving**Fixed or capped?
First:utility iSave v9£1,030£315No
Ovo New Energy Fixed£1,061£284Fixed for 12 months
Npower Go Fix 10£1,078£267Fixed until 8 April 2013
Scottish Power Online Energy Saver 17£1,085£260No
Scottish Power Online Fixed April 2013£1,095£250Fixed until April 2013

As you can see, there's still as much as £315 to be saved by switching onto the market-leading tariff.

The best deal currently around is the online iSave tariff from first:utility. However with the top fixed tariff just £31 pricier on average, it may be worth foregoing the cheapest deal for the peace of mind of a year-long, set-price rate.

* All calculations are for an average usage duel fuel household paying by monthly direct debit. Average usage as defined by OFGEM is 16,500 kWh pa of gas and 3,300 kWh pa of electricity.

** Against a typical bill of £1,345 per year (source: Ofgem).

12/01/2012 12:37
We are being robbed blind by these money grabbing energy companies. They have sent us incorrect bills, installed 'faulty' meters and increased the cost of basic needs by huge amounts. Most of them have been fined recently for malpractice too.

Now they anounce a cr@ppy saving that doesn't even apply to all customers and expect us to be grateful. It really is a disgrace and there's nothing we can do about it because even if you 'switch' the next lot are just as bad as the crowd you left.
12/01/2012 14:30
for years they (?) have been telling us to turn our thermostats down and use less gas (etc.) so we did ... so less gas is used .. so less gas is sold ... so the gas companies profits fall ... so to compensate they increase their prices ... So we are now paying more for using less gas ... And the same goes for Electricity , Diesel,  Petrol ...
12/01/2012 15:52
when i was a kid in the days of coal fires and no central heating i lived with my nan and the house was always warm and welcoming , she would leave the oven door open to warm the kitchen , or put the gas ring on on the oven in the morning and we snuggled round a coal fire at night , flanelette sheets in candy stripes on the bed  to keep us warm and a hot water bottle for bed  they were very nostalgic times for me , but nostalgic or not  i didnt expect to be going back in time in 2012 fleeces to keep warm no central heating or coal fire for that matter and hot water bottles every night , just because the cost of fuel prices has run out of control by greedy suppliers , dont worry tho b.g you never know we may get used to it and convert back to coal (reopen the mines in wales creating hundreds of jobs in the process and else where and hopefully putting the gas suppliers out of business all together
12/01/2012 13:14
5%  5%  5%  5%   it's not enough ... they built this reduction into their projection, it was planned .. energy companies take their instructions from the IMF just as governments do .. a lot of what we pay for energy is secondary taxation .. they are shafting us, they all try to push the blame somewhere else, they play one off against the other until we get tired or they bring in a new diversion .. they are stealing our money and our freedom. the easiest way to find out just who THEY are is to take a look to see who is on top, who is the beneficiary, ...  scum floats ..  it is all one big con, there is no government for the people, and never has been, it is them against us as usual, and that's the way they intend to keep it.
12/01/2012 17:22

This 5% drop means nothing. I'm still paying 11% more than earlier last year. Move to another supplier? No point, they are all in it together. What you save on electric, they more than make up for on gas, and vice versa.


And the argument of "if you don't use as much, they'll have to bring prices down" doesn't wash. We've had the mildest winter for decades, yet we're still paying more for gas and electric. The utilities companies will say that's because they have to buy in advance, when costs were high; yet they never seem to buy when costs are low and pass those savings on to customers.


I won't hold my breath for the utilities companies to announce real price drops of 15% or more.

12/01/2012 12:50
Wow, a whopping £24 a year savings. What a joke.
12/01/2012 12:47
forget about this minute decrease they are nothing but a load of robbing bastards, with the thieving cameron governments approval, never trust a tory all big industries should be nationalised bring back true socialism get rid of capitalism.
12/01/2012 13:34
So a couple of months ago they put their prices up 15% when the wholesale prices were about to fall by about 10% ... doesn't this mean then that the current gas prices are actually 25% higher than they should be ??? and they're knocking off a measley 5% ... aren't numbers wonderful ? :)

Ah sorry I misread that ... EDL are reducing their gas prices .... thieving BG aren't :)
12/01/2012 13:03

Are these companies having a laugh. While any reduction in the outrageous prices is welcome do they think their customers are stupid?

It has been well reported that wholesale gas prices  have fallen by some 11% over the past year so why is it that EDF can only drop prices by 5% ?Just greed pure and simple! 

And if British Gas can drop electric prices by 5% you can be sure all the others can afford too as well drop their gas prices!!!Angry

12/01/2012 14:39
yep I'm using so little gas these days that BG keep sending someone round on the excuse of  'safety checking ' my meter ... I mean its only just over a year ago they fitted a brand new meter so ??? a safety check??? I think what they really mean is they can't understand how I can use so little gas ... so I guess they think I'm fiddling the meter lol yep fine for them to rip us off but try ripping them off and ...

ps I'm NOT fiddling it

12/01/2012 17:49
Crafty British Gas, as usual the biggest rip off suppliers, only reducing electricity, while Scot & Southern delaying reductions until March to squeeze every last penny out of us, if I were Chancellor , one with balls , I would hit all the rip off greedy b'stards with a hefty windfall tax, but that's too easy for Osborne, he has to look after his rich pals. 
12/01/2012 13:55

hi, i read the comments. everyone seems angry at the high cost, even after this 5%cut. why get angry? get even instead.

i simply shut down my gas when they increase the tariff in 2008 and found that i can do without central heating. it is easy to keep warm with fleece clothing, and hot food and just take a walk. i live in london and in a flat so maybe my situation is not usual. but try it, u will be amaze at how easy it is to adapt to the cold rather than just automatically switch on the heating. this winter is very warm. if u have the heating on, u are not doing yourself a favour.

get even, and not use the gas at all. that will hit BG right in the pocket. if u dont use the gas , there is no profit for them.

i can use electric heaters to heat up individual rooms, but i found no need to do so.

my elect bill is £60 a quarter for a 2bedroom flat.



12/01/2012 14:02
@ Anthony Wong

Yes i'll try that. When the children complain about being freezing and developing pnuemonia, i'm simply going to put a 'fleece' on them and tell them to go for a walk....

Then i'm going to cut a hole in my living room floor and fish for food like an eskimo. I wonder why nobody ever thought of just 'adapting to the cold' before. Genius.

12/01/2012 13:37
Does anyone know who BG (retail) buys its gas off .... I heard that it was BG (wholesale) ...
12/01/2012 12:46

At least other suppliers allow you to move to another, try Scottish Power they hold onto you for dear life.  Over six months of trying to move still no joy.  Every supplier I approach has said they do not entertain a two Mpan number connection.


Have even approached the Ombusman and still awaiting any decision.  It feels like there is collusion going on at every level.


Anyone else had this problem with Scottish Power.

12/01/2012 18:36
Please spare a thought for those of us that live in rural areas where there is no gas, and we get super ripped off by the oil companies. If a camel sneezes in the Middle East the price of heating oil goes up, and up and up.

We also have to pay for the oil in a lump sum, which is about £300 - £350 or so for 500 ltrs, which lasts about 2 months using it frugally. In winter you buy 1000 ltrs, beginning of November the latest or you will be really stung if you want it in December, January, February,March, etc. That's if they can get to you before Christmas!

We use the immersion for hot water now, as it is considerably cheaper using electric rather than oil to heat the water. Imagine that! Electricity being a lot cheaper!

We really miss the ease of using gas, and the relative cheapness of it, comparing it to oil.

Remember that if you live in a flat or a terraced house, etc, it's a lot more insulated than a detached home, therefore cheaper to heat. 

Put insulated foil behind the radiators, as it will reflect the heat back into the room, rather than the wall absorbing the heat. We've noticed quite a difference doing this. (Available from Screwfix,etc)

Put sludge remover into your central heating system to clear all the dirt and sludge, which makes the heating system extremely inefficient. Follow the instructions, and you will find radiators working again, etc. Drain after a week or two, then re-fill the system and add inhibitor.

Check also that the radiators are all balanced correctly, and have all been bled.

Doing all of these things will make your system run more efficiently, hence using less gas/oil, etc, meaning smaller bills. Smile  
12/01/2012 15:06
OH dear the rising cost of car insurance is now blamed on people claiming for whiplash injuries ... I wonder who these people are ... I mean is it due to any particular section of the 'British' population ???
so I presume that they are going to plug this little 'loophole' and stop people involved in road accidents from claiming for their injuries???
12/01/2012 15:36
me and my kids freeze most days they may as well remove the gas meter as i dont dare switch it on i dont put the central heating on , but turn the gas fire on in the lounge for 1 hr before school and about 2hrs in the eve if you move to another room you can see your breath the kids thought we lived in a haunted house lol ! got so bad my son wont get out of bed till he puts his clothes on and they say your home is suposed to be warm and comfy to come home to , i bet you think my bill must be next to nothing , WRONG 100 .00 per month elec 100.00 month gas on a dd duel fuel discount lowest tariff , and i pay this all year round summer and winter to keep cost down or i never would be able to pay a quartly bill and when i see how much it is in full i cringe , so i really dont know how pensioners and others are managing so all this about reduction of prices  its an online account and i read the meters so dont know what the service charges are for cos i do it for tl wont make a blind bit of difference to me ,
12/01/2012 15:17
It's okay moaning and complaining on here but if you want to do something go and start a petition write and complain to them about it,we moan and groan but we accept it even when we are struggling to make ends meet.As for the comment about fat people you would save on Gas if you kept your mouth shut,the other comment about saving or not putting the heating on go for a walk,eating hot food etc,okay I will tell my grandchildren when they come to visit that Nana and Papa are going out in freezing cold and then we come in have hot food and put fleeces on oh and the baby can put a fleece on and have a hot bottle of milk pfft what a lot of rubbish you write.
12/01/2012 17:22
Wow Smile   Wonders never cease to amaze...a Power company giving us something off.

It may not be a lot,but better in our pockets than theirs.

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