Financial News

  • 9 January 2014, 12:02

Energy Consumers 'Worse Off' After Bill Cuts

A consumer group claims households will remain worse off after the last of the major energy firms confirmed reductions to bills after the Government's green levy shake-up.

npower said dual fuel households would receive a £38 discount, expected to affect approximately 2.6 million customers, effective from February 28.

It also confirmed that 500,000 electricity only customers would receive an additional £12 rebate as part of the Government's Warm Homes Discount scheme.

Chief executive Paul Massara said: "This reduction is a reflection of the recent review of two government policies and their impact on household energy bills and it is a welcome start.

"The natural next step would be to review all the impact of all policies that add to business and household energy bills."

The big six announced average price hikes of 6.6% but the recent price reversals would reduce this to 4.4%, according to data from U-Switch.

The price comparison site claimed that despite the bill reductions announced in recent weeks, households would still be out of pocket.

It calculated that average household energy bills soared from £1,212 to £1,281 ahead of Christmas and will fall to £1,264 once all the price changes take effect - leaving consumers £53 worse off.

On Tuesday, SSE confirmed its plans to cut its dual fuel prices by 3.5% from March 24 - taking the levy changes into account.

ScottishPower had previously confirmed a 3.3% decrease from January 31 though firms are facing pressure to implement the cuts to bills immediately.

British Gas has already reduced prices, announcing in early December that it would lower bills by 3.2% on New Year's Day, effectively reducing hikes that saw prices go up by 10.4% for electricity and 8.4% for gas in November.

EDF and E.ON took the levy changes into account in the recent round of price rises, increasing tariffs on average by 3.9% and 3.7% respectively - far less than the increases announced by rivals.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.