Scottish Power is to cut its gas prices by 5.4% from 15 March, making it the third big six energy firm to announce a drop this year. 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 similar price drops by rival suppliers E.on and SSE. E.on cut its gas prices by 5.1% on 1 February, while SSE said last week it will cut gas prices by 5.3% from 29 March.

Scottish Power says one million customers on its standard tariff will benefit from the 15 March price cut, and that they will save an average £32/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.

'The third of the big six sheep has bleated'

Commenting on the Scottish Power price cut, Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert and Cheap Energy Club, says: "So the third of the big six sheep has bleated and joined the price-cut pen – yet again, though, the amount is trivial. Just 5% on gas only, not electricity – nothing close to the drop in wholesale prices – and it doesn’t even come into effect until after winter bills. The 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 and Scottish Power customers with typical usage on standard tariffs will be paying at least £1,050 a year, after the cuts, and those from other firms even more.

"Yet the market’s cheapest tariffs for switchers are under £770/year on the same usage and our new collective switch launching tomorrow will undercut that substantially. So the message is quite simple: you’re being ripped off."

Pressure for energy price cuts

The recent price falls come as energy companies face significant pressure to cut bills, with the Prime Minister last month calling for a price cut 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 movement in the right direction for loyal customers, but the size of today's price cut is dwarfed by the savings available by switching."

Neil Clitheroe, Scottish Power's chief executive of retail and generation, says: "Over the past year, we have tried to always offer our customers competitively priced dual fuel tariffs.

"This has encouraged more of our customers to switch between tariffs with now close to one in two on fixed price products. This is one of the highest proportions of fixed price customers of the major suppliers."

More to follow...