Power giant Scottish and Southern Energy today became the second company this week to slash gas and electricity bills.
The company announced a 12 per cent cut in its average gas bill and a 5 per cent fall in average electricity prices just 24 hours after Powergen also announced lower prices.
But Scottish and Southern’s introduction of lower gas rates from today mean that its customers will be the first to benefit from lower bills.
Electricity bills will fall from 1 April.
British Gas price cuts – which sparked the price war three weeks ago – will not come into force until 12 March, while Npower and Powergen are waiting until April 30 to bring in the new tariffs.
Scottish and Southern – the UK’s third largest energy supplier – said the move would benefit its 7.5 million customers and claimed that the cuts would make it the cheapest supplier in the UK.
A company spokesman said: ‘We promised to blow British Gas out of the water and we have done that on price, timing and our responsible approach to pricing.’
It said that average dual fuel bills for customers buying both electricity and gas would fall by 9 per cent to £873 – £80 cheaper than British Gas and £40 cheaper than Powergen’s new prices revealed yesterday.
The company added that it would drop termination fees for existing customers who had signed up to fixed-rate bills due to fears over energy prices spiralling ever further.
Scottish and Southern is the fourth member of the ‘big six’ to announce price cuts, with just Scottish Power and EDF Energy left to enter the fray.
The company’s energy supply director, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said he hoped the cuts would be the beginning of a long-term trend towards falling prices.
He said: ‘Energy prices are driven by a number of factors and future trends in wholesale gas prices are always difficult to predict. Nevertheless, I hope that today’s announcement marks the start of a sustained downward trend in the prices paid by customers.’
Switch with Which?
Switch with Which? is the impartial and independent online service from Which?, that helps consumers compare and switch gas and electricity suppliers.
People using the Switch with Which? service can save on average £245* a year by changing their energy supplier(s).
* Average saving made on gas and electricity bills by UK households in 2006, using the Switch with Which? website.
© The Press Association, All rights reserved.