British Gas has today announced that it will cut gas prices by 10 per cent for more than 7.5million homes.
The cuts will come into effect on February 19, and according to British Gas
, will save customers £84 on average.
The cut will mark the fist standard gas tariff cut by a major energy supplier since 2007, and it is hoped that other gas and electricity
suppliers will follow suit.
Managing Director, Phil Bentley, said: "We understand energy bills are a significant cost and we are committed to providing the best possible prices for customers. This price cut will go some way to helping customers manage their budgets, and we will continue to do what we can, when we can."
However, despite the cut, British Gas customers will still be paying significantly more than they were 12 months ago due to the massive rises in bills last year.
British Gas increased its prices by 46 per cent - £416 on average – in 2008. In January 2008, the average household energy bill of a British gas customer was £912, even after today's cuts, the average bill will stand at £1,240, which is 36 per cent higher than a year ago.
And although the move has been welcomed, many have said it simply isn't enough.
"The 10 per cent cut, although very welcome, doesn't bring us anywhere near where we were a year ago. Prices are still considerably higher," said a spokesman for Age Concern.
While uSwitch.com's Ann Robinson said "It is now looking highly unlikely that price cuts are going to wipe out last year's painful 42 per cent or £381 hike in household energy bills. There will be a small dip this year, but overall the trend in household energy prices is up."
However, it is still a positive move, and will hopefully be the first in a long list of price cut announcements from energy suppliers.
"British Gas' decision to cut prices will be some respite for those British Gas customers who are struggling with their household expenses at this time of year," said Rachel Mason from Fairnvestment.co.uk.
"Other gas and electricity providers
are now expected to follow suit and although any cuts announced are unlikely to make up for the rises of 2008, is a step in the right direction."
Ms Mason then urged people to shop around to see if they can get a better deal on their energy bills.
"It is always important to compare the market and make sure you are getting the best deal you can from your supplier, and if you're not, it is time to think about switching."
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