British Gas and EDF price cut falls short of expectations

Savings on gas bills fall short of expectations. Picture: John Devlin
Savings on gas bills fall short of expectations. Picture: John Devlin
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Scottish Gas owner British Gas and EDF Energy are the latest of the Big Six providers to cut gas prices in the wake of falling wholesale costs, snipping £32 off the average bill.

British Gas unveiled a 5.1 per cent price reduction – its third since the start of last year – followed swiftly by EDF’s announcement of a 5 per cent cut. All of the Big Six have now announced price cuts in recent weeks. Almost eight million UK customers are set to benefit from the ­latest announcements.

These amounts are paltry and trivial

Martin Lewis

However, consumer groups have warned the cuts are too little too late for households and say customers could save more than £300 by switching to a smaller supplier.

British Gas’s price drop will be effective from 16 March, while EDF’s cut comes in on 24 March – at the end of the winter season when households use most gas. None of the major firms have cut the price of electricity, despite a 23 per cent drop in the wholesale cost over the past year.

Ann Robinson, uSwitch director of consumer policy, said: “By being the first big six supplier to make three cuts to standard gas prices, British Gas is leading by example.

“But while these reductions are welcome, they should go even further. Wholesale electricity prices fell 23 per cent last year so it’s deeply disappointing that all the major suppliers are still refusing to reduce standard electric tariffs.”

Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, said the price cuts were a “nightmare for consumers”. “They give people the false sense of security that they’re getting a reasonable deal, yet these amounts are paltry and trivial – a reduction of around £30 on the typical bill, nothing close to the drop in wholesale prices,” he said.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: “Price reductions are a step in the right direction for customers struggling with energy bills. But seeing all of the big suppliers mirror each other with small cuts in the face of falling wholesale prices will raise questions about whether competition is working.”