SSE to reduce household gas prices by 4.1%

The reduction will be implemented from 30 April

Click to follow
The Independent Online

SSE is to cut gas prices by 4.1 per cent – becoming the fifth of the Big Six energy suppliers to react to falling wholesale energy costs. 

The reduction will come into force on 30 April before the UK’s second-biggest energy supplier extends its price freeze until at least July 2016.

The move comes after rivals E.On, British Gas, Scottish Power and Npower all announced price cuts for households – but SSE’s reduction will take effect much later.

In March, SSE pledged to freeze prices until January 2016 after putting up gas and electricity bills by 8.2 per cent in the previous autumn. The company said today it has extended this guarantee, meaning its gas and electricity prices will not go up before July 2016 at the earliest.

SSE, which has 8.7 million electricity and gas accounts, said the price cut will save a typical household customer £28 a year.

The planned reduction follows a sharp drop in wholesale energy costs, although SSE points out that this factor now makes up less than half of the average household energy bill.

It said: "There are significant other costs within energy bills, including those relating to government-sponsored environmental and social policies and the roll-out of smart meters.

"SSE believes that such policies should be funded in a more progressive way related to people's ability to pay and believes that the GB-wide smart meter roll-out should be subject to review to identify what can be done to minimise its costs and optimise its benefits to all energy consumers in GB."

EDF now remains the only Big Six supplier not to have reduced gas prices.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: "Pressure is clearing mounting on EDF to follow other suppliers and cuts its prices. The domino effect we see each time one of the large energy company reduces prices yet again reinforces the need for the Competition and Markets Authority investigation to leave no stone unturned. With marginal differences between price cuts, customers need to know whether the market is working for them and if they are getting value for money.

"Citizens Advice is also keen that the needs of prepayment customers are taken into account given the outdated service and often higher prices they pay."

Customers are being urged to call up their supplier and make sure they are on the cheapest deal available

Additional reporting by Press Association