Energy firms jostle to offer cheapest tariff First Utility hits back against Eon and EDF cuts

05 October 2009

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Energy companies Eon, EDF Energy and First Utility have begun a price battle by offering cheaper deals - but there's no sign of more widescale energy price cuts.

First Utility emerged as the UK's cheapest energy supplier in September, when it launched the iSave online tariff, hot on the heels of new energy company Ovo Energy, which entered the market with two competitive plans.

But two of the 'big six' energy providers, EDF Energy and Eon, have made moves to win back the title of cheapest average energy tariff.

You can compare the latest energy tariffs using Which? Switch, Which?'s independent energy comparison and switching service.

Cheaper energy tariffs

Eon reduced the cost of its Fix Online 3 dual fuel tariff by £19 on Friday, which it said made it 'once again the cheapest dual fuel energy product available on a nationwide basis at national average consumption'. Fix Online 3 is offered as a dual fuel or single electricity product, is available online only, and has limited availability.

On the same day, EDF Energy aligned the standard cost of gas for its prepayment and single fuel gas customers as well as introducing changes to its tariff structure for monthly direct debit customers which will give them a 6% discount instead of a fixed annual discount.

It claims these changes will equate to an extra annual saving of £29 for a typical dual fuel direct debit customer, £34 for prepayment customers and £24 for single fuel gas customers, making it 'the cheapest dual fuel and gas only supplier among the big six energy companies for all payment methods'.

In a bid to retain its top spot, First Utility responded within hours of Eon's announcement by adjusting the price of its iSave dual fuel price, claiming this amendment 'means that First Utility remains the UK's cheapest energy supplier'.

But Dr Fiona Cochrane, senior policy adviser at Which?, wants to see meaningful price reductions from energy suppliers. 

She said: 'Consumers want to see energy companies lower prices as much as they can, quickly, not tweaking their prices like this to stay at the top of the tables.' 

Eon billing changes

Following the news last month that its new cash and cheque customers would be billed on a monthly rather than quarterly basis, Eon has also announced that it is reducing the number of bills it sends out a year to monthly direct debit customers to just two - a move which worries energy campaigners at Which?.

Dr Cochrane said: 'We're really concerned that Eon is reducing the amount of information they are giving to their customers. How can people stay on top of their consumption and their costs if they only get two bills a year?'

Which? Switch

As prices can vary by region, and by how much energy you use, compare your tariff to see if you are still on the best deal with Which? Switch. Which? Switch also features the results of the latest – giving a picture of how customers rate their energy suppliers' service.

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