EDF to reduce household gas prices by 1.3%

It is the last of the Big Six energy suppliers to announce a cost reduction

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EDF today announced it will cut its gas prices by 1.3 per cent - making it the last of the Big Six energy suppliers to reduce tariffs in reaction to falling wholesale costs.

The French-owned firm said the cut will take effect from 11 February and will benefit around one million customers.

The news comes after E.ON, British Gas, Scottish Power, Npower and SSE all said they were cutting their prices.

And it follows pressure from Labour, which proposed to give new powers to Ofgem to allow the regulator to force companies to pass on falls in the price of wholesale oil and gas to consumers. The party has also pledged to impose a prize freeze if its wins the General Election in May.

EDF has announced the smallest reduction among the Big Six and will shave just £9 off annual bills.

But the firm said its new standard dual fuel price of £1,155 a year made it cheaper than all but one of its major rivals.

EDF said the cut was linked to the recent fall in wholesale prices but said that the vast majority of gas it had purchased for customers had been bought well in advance.

"This, and the low standard prices already offered by EDF Energy, has limited the size of today's reduction," the company said.

The firm said its announcement today followed a series of cuts to its fixed price deals - which are taken by 1.5 million of its customers.

Chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "We continue to look for ways to bear down on costs for customers and will offer more help to the most vulnerable, for example encouraging them to switch to fixed tariffs.

"If wholesale gas prices create cost reductions which allow further price cuts these will be passed to customers as soon as possible."

Across the board the scale of the cuts have been criticised by consumer groups. All Big Six reductions have fallen well short of industry estimates suggesting bills could be reduced by £136 a year if suppliers were to pass on the full drop in wholesale prices.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: "People want to see bigger savings now and energy companies need to up their game if they want their customers to stick around.

"If people aren't satisfied, now is the time to shop around for a better deal, switch suppliers and save."

Additional reporting by Press Association