npower cuts electricity bills by 8%

17 March 2009 / by Rachel Mason
npower has become the final of the big six energy companies to announce a price cut – an eight per cent reduction in electricity prices.

npower claims that the cut, which will come into effect on March 31, will mean its customers will see their electricity bills come down by £43 a year on average.

"This reduction follows our price cuts for gas pre-payment customers in December," said npower spokesman Kevin Miles. "Gas and electricity pre-payment customers no longer pay a premium over our standard tariffs.

"We will continue to keep our costs and prices under review to ensure that we remain competitive and give our customers value for money."

npower claims that taking these price cuts into account, its monthly direct debit dual fuel tariff is more than £30 cheaper than British Gas.

But Will Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com says although that may be true, British Gas customers are still the only ones to have actually seen lower prices appear on their bills – British Gas price cuts came into effect on February 19.

And Gareth Kloet of confused.com also thinks the cut is too little too late and criticises npower for not putting the cuts into effect straight away.

"npower is the last of the ‘Big Six' energy companies to announce a price reduction and, like four of the other major suppliers, has opted to keep its customers waiting until the end of March until these come into effect," he said.

"Disappointingly, once again, npower's price cuts do not signal the slashing of its prices across the board; rather, a patchy reduction which has totally overlooked gas prices," Mr Kloet concluded.

While Mr Marples also points out that although npower has now cut prices; it actually increased prices by 42 per cent last year – an average of £383 per customer.

“Wholesale prices are still higher than in 2007," admits npower's Mr Miles, "but we are determined to reduce prices for our electricity customers,"

Despite the fact that all the major energy companies have now announced cuts, both price comparison sites are urging people not to rely on their supplier making cuts and to switch energy provider to get a better deal.

"By the end of March, the majority of consumers will be seeing some small benefit from lower wholesale energy prices. But it has taken time and price cuts have averaged out at 4.3 per cent or £56, which will only make a small dent in household energy bills," said Mr Marples.

"Consumers should now boost this small saving by moving to a better deal - switching to a competitive plan could cut your energy bill by up to £350."

Mr Kloet added: "While some of npower's customers will benefit from these price reductions, shopping around is still the most effective way of ensuring savings."

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