SSE has today become the fifth of the big six energy providers to announce a gas price cut this year, but the 4.1% drop won't take effect until 30 April.
The move will see £28 shaved off SSE's average £1,186 annual dual fuel bill for those who pay by monthly direct debit. But customers can save far more by switching to a cheaper deal. (Join our free Cheap Energy Club to find the cheapest tariff for you.)
Our top pick for the cheapest short fix costs £919/year for the average dual fuel customer paying by monthly direct debit from Extra Energy – a saving of around £240 on SSE's standard tariff even after factoring in the price cut.
The reduction will apply to all customers on SSE's standard gas tariff – including those on a prepayment meter – whether dual fuel customers or gas-only.
But electricity-only customers and those on fixed tariffs, which usually lock you in at a set price and don't change when a supplier increases or decreases price, won't benefit from the price reduction.
SSE also says it will extend its guarantee not to raise standard household energy prices until "at least" 1 July 2016 – this pledge covers gas at the new lower rate and electricity at existing prices.
The firm is the fifth big six energy supplier to announce it is shaving gas prices following political pressure to do so:
- British Gas is cutting gas prices by 5% from 27 February (see the British Gas to cut gas prices MSE news story).
- E.on cut gas prices by 3.5% on 13 January (see the E.on cuts gas prices MSE news story for more).
- Npower is cutting gas prices by 5.1% from 16 February (see the Npower to cut gas prices MSE news story).
- Scottish Power is cutting gas prices by 4.8% from 20 February (see the Scottish Power trims standard gas price MSE news story).
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Households can 'massively undercut SSE'
Martin Lewis, founder and editor of MoneySavingExpert.com, says: "SSE is trying to dupe customers with its announcement today. Not only is it taking three months to enact this meagre price cut, far longer than the other firms, but its statement 'the freeze makes SSE the only supplier with a price guarantee for both gas and electricity for at least 15 months' is quite simply a lie to try to give its customers false confidence.
"There are scores of fixed-rate deals on the market that are both cheaper and longer than SSE on its standard deal. Why on earth would anyone willingly lock in on a high rate if they knew what was out there?
"The numbers powerfully tell quite how off kilter SSE's spin is. For someone on typical dual fuel usage, SSE's standard tariff after the cuts in April will be around £1,160/year. Yet right now three suppliers have cheap year-long fixes for around £920 or you could fix until January 2017, far longer than SSE and pay just £1,054/year – massively undercutting it.
"Plus on Wednesday MoneySavingExpert.com will be launching its Big Energy Switch II – our second collective switch. The last one was the biggest the UK's ever had with 60,000 switchers, and we again have used the huge scale of MoneySavingExpert's user base to secure a range of tariffs that undercut even the market's cheapest."
'Prices coming down and staying down'
Steve Forbes, SSE's director of GB domestic, says: "We were the only supplier to freeze prices and we promised we would cut them if we could; now we're delivering on that promise with an average £28 reduction in gas bills.
"Only SSE customers can bank on the fact that their standard energy prices won't increase under any circumstances before July 2016. Our prices are coming down, they're staying down and we want to work with government to bring them down further."