Co-op Energy has announced it is cutting energy prices — but only by 2%, and only on electricity.

Key Points

  • Co-op cuts electricity by 2%
  • Says it's reversing unnecessary summer price hike
  • British Gas raises energy prices 6% today

The energy minnow's move comes on the day British Gas customers get hit with a 6% rise in both gas and electricity charges.

Co-op's cut, which affects about 50,000 customers on its standard variable Pioneer tariff from 21 December, means an average household will now pay it £1,157 a year for power.

By contrast, five out of the big six providers have announced price hikes of up to 11% in recent weeks. The sixth, Eon, only guarantees a price freeze until the end of the year.

Data from price comparison site shows Co-op has the cheapest standard tariff for the average user. But it's possible to save even more by switching to an online deal — see our Cheap Gas & Electricity guide.

Reversing the rise

Co-operative Energy's business development manager Nigel Mason says: "Wholesale electricity costs have come down and we were keen to ensure this was reflected in customers’ bills as soon as possible.

"At a time when the image of the energy market is being further tarnished, we need to show we're doing all we can to put customers first, build trust and restore faith."

Co-op raised prices by 2% for both gas and electricity customers in the summer, but a spokeswoman said an anticipated rise in wholesale electricity costs did not happen so it is able to reverse the rise.

Archna Luthra, consumer products analyst, says: "Co-op has bucked the trend by cutting prices instead of following the big six and hiking them, though this still doesn't make it cheapest.

"This doesn't change things for consumers — everyone should be looking to switch. Using a comparison site is the easiest way, though beware switching to Eon and smaller companies that are yet to announce hikes."