The UK’s “big six” energy providers have come under scrutiny over the fact savings haven’t been passed to consumers in light of the tumbling price of wholesale oil.
British Gas, Scottish Power, E.ON, EDF and SSE all revealed varying cuts to their gas prices, with the biggest reduction of 5.1% coming from Npower.
Consumer groups and politicians have been quick to put pressure on providers, pointing out that tariff prices could be reduced further.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said that the six major suppliers “need to explain to their customers why bills don’t fall further in response to dropping wholesale prices”, which have fallen more than 50% since summer 2014.
Its report suggested that in late 2013 the increase in energy prices was unjustified and now, in 2015, the recent cuts to gas tariffs of up to 5.1% should have been between 8.8% and 10.3%.
Leaving loyal businesses customers in the cold
The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed that between 2009 and 2013, the 8.6% average profits made on SMEs were much higher than those on domestic customers.
In addition, an investigation has also found that loyal customers are being charged as much as £234 if they stay with the same provider, emphasising the benefits of shopping around for lower, fixed-rate deals.
Energy prices are now high up on the political agenda in the lead up to the general election. Leader of the House of Commons William Hague has also said Ed Miliband’s 2013 price-freeze proposal is to blame for the delay of big energy providers passing on savings.
A statement from energy watchdog Ofgem has blamed the regulatory framework for acting as a barrier to competitiveness, driving up prices, leaving customers worse off and resulting in a lower standard of service.
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