Wholesale gas and electricity prices were broadly flat on the week despite a modest fall in oil prices.
After the recent run in wholesale prices through February, wholesale gas prices and electricity prices are up by 19% and 10% respectively from their opening levels of 2012.
This increase is having an impact on margins particularly for the smaller suppliers. While it is a little premature to suggest that further price hikes are on the way from the Big 6, it now seems likely that any further prices cuts are off the table while energy markets remain volatile. We would also expect some of the cheaper discounted and fixed deals to be pulled over the coming weeks. Now would be a good time to recommend that customers lock into cheap discounted fixed tariffs.
Brent crude in GBP remains comfortably above its 2008 high.
New Product Launches / Price Changes
OVO energy increased the price of New Energy Fixed and Green Energy Fixed by 7.7%; equivalent to £81 for the average dual fuel customer.
Energy Supplier News
SSE said that it will not participate in The Big Switch campaign because it conflicts with SSE’s Building Trust commitments.
British Gas is going to roll out new comparison tables from this April which will enable its customers to better compare its tariffs. These comparisons will also appear in annual statements from this year.
Forthcoming Price Changes
The last of the pre-announced price cuts will come into effect on Monday 26 March 2012. With effect from 26 March, SSE will cut gas bills by 3.8% giving a saving of around £28 a year for the average customer. As well as the price cut SSE are making a number of product changes designed to simplify their range of tariffs.
The clocks move forward on Sunday 25 March 2012.
Winter Fuel Allowance Deadline
For anyone who has not yet received an automatic Winter Fuel Payment for 2011/2012 then the deadline for receipt of claims is 30 March 2012.