The 'big six' energy companies have started 2012 by cutting their energy prices by up to 6%.
EDF Energy started the ball rolling by cutting prices by 5% from 7th February. The move will affect 1.4 million customers and is due to a sharp fall in wholesale energy prices as a result of the mild weather. It was only in November that EDF Energy increased its gas bills by 15.4% due to a rise in wholesale energy prices.
British Gas have reduced their standard electricity by 5% immediately which will affect around 5.3m single rate electricity customers on a variable tariff. Back in August 2011 British Gas raised their prices by 16%.
SSE (Scottish & Southern Energy) have also announced a cut in energy prices by reducing the unit price for household gas by 4.5% with effect from March 26th. These reductions affect 3.5 million customers.
Both British Gas and SSE are also citing a drop in wholesale energy prices as the reason that they are reducing their prices.
Npower then announced their intention to reduce gas bills by 5% in February. E.ON was next to announce it was to cut its standard electricity prices by 6%
Finally Scottish Power have announced that it will cut its gas prices by an average of 5% from 27th February 2011.
It's amazing that within in days of one of the energy companies announcing price cuts the others swiftly follow with cuts of roughly the same amount.
Who said that the big six energy companies don't operate a cartel??
But don't be fooled by these price cuts as they come hot on the heels of larger price rises last year. So the standard utility bill is still much higher than it was a year ago. Below is a table provided by the BBC which summarises the recent price rises and cuts for each of the big six energy companies.
Energy price changes
|Scottish Power||Scottish & Southern||British Gas||Npower||E.On||EDF|
|Nov 2010||G:2% E:8.9%|
|Jan 2011||G: 5.1% E: 5.1%|
|Aug||G:19% E:10%||G:18% E:16%|
|Sept||G:18% E:11%||G:18% E:11%|
|Jan 2012||E: -5%|
|Feb||G: -5%||G: -5%||E: -6%||G: -5%|