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Fall in wholesale energy costs creates call for price cuts


UK gas and electricity wholesale prices have dropped to their lowest level in almost a decade which has sparked calls for suppliers to cut bills by 10%.

Data from ICIS Power Index, which analyses energy markets, found that the prices have averaged at nine-year lows over the first quarter of this year.

The big six energy firms (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, Scottish Power, and SSE) have cut gas bills by just over 5% this year, but not electricity charges.

The comparison website, uSwitch told suppliers to reduce the standard tariffs by a further 10% in light of the new figures.

Ann Robinson, a director of uSwitch, said consumers had been short-changed by token gesture price cuts.

She said: "Given record-low wholesale costs, suppliers must do the right thing and reduce standard tariffs by a further 10%."

Amber Rudd, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, wrote to energy firms in the middle of last year asking them to pass on a fall in wholesale costs to consumers.

However, she recently announced price cuts by the ‘Big Six’, which all came into effect last month, are calculated to save customers on standard tariffs just £30 a year.

She said: "I've spoken to bosses at the Big Six to make crystal clear that the Government expects suppliers to pass on cost reductions to the families and businesses paying the bills. The cuts in tariffs by the Big Six are a good start but there's more to do.

"This Government is playing its part - committing to take forward recommendations from the biggest ever investigation into the energy market and pushing ahead with plans so people can switch supplier within 24 hours. This will help keep bills as low as possible."

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