Energy price war heats up as npower follows suit

Energy price war heats up as npower follows suit

10 March 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

npower has become the latest of the Big Six energy companies to cut its gas prices, announcing a reduction of seven per cent yesterday.

Speculation that the first price cut of the year from British Gas back in February would spark a price war has been proven accurate, as npower's price cut follows British Gas, Scottish & Southern Energy's announcement last week, and one from E.ON this week.

But Scott Byrom, utilities manager at moneysupermarket.com, does not believe the energy providers are going far enough, with npower's price cut amounting to £50 a year being knocked off the average customer's gas bill. "Where's the price war we were all hoping for?" he asked. "It's not a ‘price war', it's more like a ‘price fisticuffs'."

He added "It's also a shame to see that, like E.ON and SSE, npower's price change is only effective from the end of March when the damage has already been done with winter energy consumption and the resultant high energy bills."

Mr Byrom urges customers to vote with their feet, and suggests they consider an online energy plan which can be up to £300 a year cheaper than standard gas and electricity tariffs.

Mark Greening, head of utilities for Gocompare.com, agrees: "while npower customers who have shivered through the last few months will get a slight reduction on their bills in the spring and summer months, they will receive precious little help with the biggest winter bills."

Gareth Kloet, head of energy at Confused.com said the price cut from npower is "yet another example of energy companies having a 'spring sale'…it just is too little too late."

Meanwhile, Audrey Gallacher, energy expert at Consumer Focus admits that npower's customers will be pleased to get a price cut, but, she adds, "the days of cut throat price competition seem a distant memory."

The experts urge consumers to shop around and switch energy provider to find the best deal for them.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd