Energy Markets Overview March 26th 2012

Wholesale gas and electricity prices both fell by just over 1% on the week driven mainly by the warmer weather. Oil prices also started the week lower but finished flat after a bounce on Friday.
Wholesale gas prices and electricity prices are up by 19% and 10% respectively from their opening levels of 2012. Brent crude in GBP remains comfortably above its 2008 high.
Our view remains that while it is 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.
New Product Launches / Price Changes
SSE gas price cuts come into effect today (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.
Energy Supplier News
Court of Appeal upholds verdict – SSE found guilty of mis-selling.
SSE was found guilty of mis-selling on 10 May 2011 in the Guildford Crown Court. SSE appealed the judgements, but on Friday 16 March 2012 it announced that the Court of Appeal had upheld the guilty verdicts. The cases brought against the SSE related to the use of direct doorstep sales in 2009. Since then the company has withdrawn from doorstep selling.
Forthcoming Price Changes
None pre-announced
Forthcoming events
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.

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