Final energy price cut comes into effect
The last energy price cut comes into effect on Monday 26th March when SSE drops its gas price by £29 or 4.5%. It brings to an end a round of price reductions by Britain's big six suppliers that has shaved £41 or 3.2% off the average household energy bill, but has still left consumers paying £183 or 17% more than they were just over a year ago.
The average household energy bill in October 2010 was £1,069, rising to £1,293 following last year's increases. This year's price cuts have brought it back down to £1,252 a year.
Worryingly, even as this last price cut kicks-in, Ovo Energy has already pushed its prices up by 7.7%. The concern now is that instead of relieving the pressure on consumers by reducing prices for a second time, suppliers will wait to see what the future holds on the wholesale market.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: "Price cuts this year have been like a drop in the ocean as far as consumers are concerned. The hope was that suppliers would follow up with a chunkier double digit cut that would make a more noticeable dent in the average household energy bill. But with Ovo Energy having increased its prices, suppliers will be uncertain and this could stay their hand.
"The fact is that consumers cannot afford to sit back. While suppliers have reduced prices by £41, households could actually cut their own energy bills by up to £420 just by switching to a competitively priced deal. For those who are concerned about prices going up again there are some very competitive fixed price plans that will cut your costs and protect you. However, if prices do fall again you will probably not benefit so you need to weigh this up."