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SSE to cut standard gas prices by £32 from the end of March

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
SSE is set to cut its standard gas price which should see customer bills reduced by an average of £32, but energy experts say the move’s a “token-gesture”.

The energy giant has today announced it will reduce domestic gas prices on its standard and pay-as-you-go tariffs by an average of 5.3%, or £32.80.

But the fall in the gas price won’t kick in until 29 March. It also won’t apply to those on fixed tariffs and SSE has confirmed there will be no change to electricity prices.

This is the third gas price cut in two years by the big six energy supplier and it comes a week after E.ON cut its gas prices also by an average of £32.

SSE adds that customers have not seen an energy price increase since November 2013 and the new gas price will be 12%, or £78 lower for an average customer compared with 2013.

A typical dual fuel direct debit bill on its standard tariff will be £1,068 compared with £1,162 in November 2013.

The energy supplier cites that wholesale energy prices account for an ever smaller proportion of the bill.

‘Lower prices are good news but prices can and should be cut much further’

uSwitch’s director of consumer policy, Ann Robinson, says: “Not only is this another token-gesture cut but why should customers have to wait until after Easter to see reductions to their bills?

“Lower prices are good news but prices can and should be cut much further. Consumers should be seeing bill reductions of at least 10% – around £120 a year – on both gas and electricity, given record low wholesale costs.

“As three of the big six suppliers have now lowered standard prices twice since the start of 2015, the pressure is now well and truly on EDF, npower and ScottishPower to follow suit.

“Rather than waiting for meagre price cuts, big six standard plan customers should switch to cheaper fixed deals, saving more than £320 a year.”

SSE’s trading results

Today’s news comes as SSE published its interim management statement, reporting on its third quarter results.

Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, explains what it means for investors.

“The group had lost 300,000 gas and electricity customers in the UK and Ireland over the period, taking the total down to 8.28 million. However, CEO Alistair Phillips-Davies reiterated that trading was in line with expectations and the company remains on track to deliver its earnings target.

“At present, we currently recommend SSE as a ‘hold’ and investors interested in the sector should note our preferred stock is National Grid. SSE investors should appreciate that despite market conditions remaining challenging, the group has confirmed it was on track to deliver a rise in the all-important dividend.”

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