Plans to ‘roll-back’ some of the eco targets set for energy companies will save customers an average of £50 on their yearly energy bills, according to the government.
The plans will cut the amount of green levies on energy bills, and the six major energy suppliers – Npower, British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power, EDF Energy and Eon – have now said they will not raise energy bills by as much as announced in the previous weeks.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘It’s about time the government started getting the cost of energy under control and this will be a welcome step in the right direction for consumers who are struggling with the increased cost of living.
‘It is right to refocus the Energy Company Obligation so that it gives greater priority to those most in need of help with lower cost measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation. But in return for more time to get this right, the suppliers must now commit to greater transparency and to getting their costs down, fast.’
Energy bill rises
In the last few months five of the biggest six energy firms have announced price rises this autumn. But each energy company has said it expects to make changes after the announcement:
- British Gas – bills will now rise by an average of £70 instead of £123
- EDF Energy – may hold off on price rises until 2015
- SSE – will reduce tariffs sometime before April
- Npower – may hold off on price rises until 2015
- Scottish Power – it could mean savings of £50 for a typical dual fuel customer
- Eon – hasn’t raised tariffs yet, said may still need to do so, but by less than planned
At the moment, none of this has been set in stone. You can keep an eye on our guide to energy price rises to find out more about how these changes will come into effect.
Either way, once all the announcements have been made, the best thing to do is compare gas and electricity prices using our free comparison tool, Which? Switch.
If you’re on a fixed rate tariff and concerned you’ll miss out on the savings, it’s worth comparing to see if you could get anything cheaper on a variable tariff, assuming you won’t have to pay an exit fee, so check your terms and conditions. However, you’re unlikely to be better off as most fixed tariffs are cheaper, even with the average of £50 being proposed as a saving.
Which? campaign to cut bills
Back at the beginning of November we started a campaign asking for George Osborne to stand up for consumers and cut the cost of the Government’s energy policy down to size.
We’re pleased to see that he has risen to the challenge, which is an important move for the 43,000+ people who supported our campaign, and the eight in 10 people that told us they were worried about energy prices.
This is a step in the right direction, but there is still more to do – we’ll carry on calling for changes to make the energy market more competitive and transparent.
Follow us on @WhichCampaigns to make sure you keep up to date with the latest campaigns.