British Gas, EDF, E.On, nPower, Scottish & Southern Energy and Scottish Power have given the strongest hints yet that there will be no price cuts this year despite rising profits.

The decision ignores last month's demands from the energy regulator, Ofgem, for suppliers to pass on slumps in wholesale markets to customers (see the Cheap Gas & Electricity guide).

British Gas says: "The very recent falls in wholesale costs cannot be immediately reflected in the procurement cost for suppliers. We are also facing material increases in network and Government imposed environmental costs, over which suppliers have no control."

EDF says: "We would, of course, be prepared to reduce tariffs if market conditions allowed."

E.On says: "We do not believe there is a clear message regarding future wholesale cost movements that can be communicated to customers."

nPower says: "A retail price commentary cannot be based only on a narrow view of the wholesale costs and, in any event, needs to be weighed up against increases in other costs."

Scottish & Southern Energy says: "Our aim remains to avoid an increase in 2009 and 2010, despite the fact that wholesale prices remain volatile."

Scottish Power says: "There are no immediate signals to indicate a fall in retail prices for this winter and risks of an increase next year".

It's time to drop prices

The disappointing news comes despite Ofgem's latest quarterly report revealing suppliers' profits will be boosted due to falling wholesale costs.

It says if retail prices remain the same, profits will increase by around £80 for dual fuel customers in the next six months, despite projected falls in wholesale prices of nearly £30 for electricity and £85 for gas, roughly 6% and 8% of customer's bills.

However it also says the suppliers' other costs, such as environmental commitments and network charges, which account for around 40% of customer's bills, are rising.

Consumer Focus agrees price cuts are due and says: "Despite volatile wholesale markets and environmental costs, there is scope for price cuts this year."

Martin Lewis, creator of says: "This is getting beyond a joke. We know that energy profits are increasing, wholesale prices are down and consumer prices should be following.

"It's becoming suspiciously apparent that energy providers seem to be wanting to hold off making cuts as it's predicted wholesale prices may rise again, then they won't need to justify any change.

"It's time the regulator stepped in and sorted them out."

Compare, switch and get cashback

Regardless of what happens in the future, check your tariff against the alternatives via a comparison site to see if you can save.

Many who've never switched before can save £250 a year, and even those who have switched could see savings of over £100.

Further reading/Key links

Slash energy costs: Cheap Gas & Electricity
Capped tariff ending soon?: Capped Energy