Npower has become the fourth big six energy firm to announce a price drop this year – it's cutting the price of gas by 5.2% from 28 March. But even after the cuts its standard tariff will cost £100s more than the market's cheapest, so check now to see if you can switch and save.
Today’s announcement follows E.on's decision to cut its gas prices by 5.1% on 1 February, while SSE is cutting gas prices by 5.3% from 29 March and Scottish Power's cutting gas prices by 5.4% from 15 March.
Npower says the reduction on 28 March will benefit approximately 1.2 million of its customers, including those on prepay meters. The average annual cost for a typical user on a dual fuel standard tariff will fall from £1,232 to £1,140 a year.
However, with many able to save far more by switching now to a cheaper deal, use our free Cheap Energy Club to find the cheapest tariff for you.
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'The fourth of the big six sheep has bleated'
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySaving Expert.com and Cheap Energy Club, says: "Baaah – so now the fourth of the big six sheep has bleated and followed the others in cutting prices. Yet again, though, the amount is trivial – a reduction of £32 a year, just 5% on gas only, not electricity, and nothing close to the drop in wholesale prices.
"Energy firms must be whooping for joy that they can get away with such small cuts. The real picture here is that even after these small cuts come into effect the vast majority of households in the UK will be massively overpaying for their energy.
"E.on, SSE, Scottish Power and Npower customers with typical usage on standard tariffs will still be paying at least £1,050 a year, after the cuts, and those from other firms even more. But the market’s cheapest tariffs for switchers are under £770/year on the same usage, and our new collective switch which launched last week undercuts that substantially.
"So the message is quite simple: you’re being ripped off. Don’t wait, don’t think 'hurrah prices are dropping' – do a cheap energy comparison and ditch and switch now."
Pressure for energy price cuts
The raft of price cut announcements come as energy companies face significant pressure to cut bills, with the Prime Minister last month calling for prices to reflect the fact wholesale energy costs are at their lowest for five years.
Ofgem’s senior partner for consumers and competition Rachel Fletcher says: "This is a move in the right direction for loyal customers, but the size of today’s price cut is dwarfed by the savings available by switching from a standard tariff to a fixed deal. You could save more money, up to £300, faster by switching."
Paul Coffey, chief executive of Npower, says: "This cut in gas prices is welcome news for many of our customers. We have balanced the wholesale price fall against increases in the other costs we are charged."