Npower are now the fourth of the Big Six energy providers in the UK to announce cut prices for gas on their standard tariff this year. They are the fifth altogether, since British Gas announced cuts last year.
E.ON, SSE and Scottish Power all announced cuts, ranging from 5.1% to 5.4%, following pressure from various bodies after wholesale prices for energy have fallen in recent months.
EDF remain the only member of the Big Six to have not yet cut their prices at all.
Npower’s gas prices for customers signed up to their standard tariff will fall by 5.2%, starting at the end of March this year.
This will amount to a saving of around £30 a year for standard tariff customers, though the cut only applies to gas, not electricity.
While most are happy to see some reduction in prices for energy, criticism from far and wide has been aimed at energy providers for not going far enough.
Data from the Independent Chemical Information Service (ICIS), who analyse the energy market, suggests that wholesale prices for gas and electricity have fallen by as much as a 25% in the last year. Ann Robinson of price comparison site uSwitch has suggested that a price cut of 10% from the energy providers would be more representative of the change in costs they have experiences (balanced with the other charges they incur).
Npower chief executive, Paul Coffey, released a statement similar to those released by the heads of the other energy providers, defending the size of the cuts. He said: “we have balanced the wholesale price fall against increases in the other costs we are charged.”
All four providers to cut their gas prices are only dropping prices on their standard tariffs which are typically the most expensive tariffs they all offer.
Martin Lewis, founder of financial advice service Money Saving Expert, said: “E.ON, SSE, Scottish power and Npower 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 a year on the same usage.”