Friday, 23 January 2009

As British Gas cuts gas prices by 10%, should you switch?

British Gas is to cut its gas bill by 10% in February. It is estimated that this will save customers about £83 a year on average. In doing so, it has become the first gas/electricity provider to lower its tariff in over two years.

While the cut was welcomed by consumer groups, it was described as "pitiful" by one critic, and others demanded that electricity prices should be cut too.

Gordon Lishman, director-general of charity Age Concern, said the price cut was a step in the right direction, but added: "Unless further reductions follow, and are made acroos all tariffs and energy companies, many pensioners will continue to struggle to pay their bills."

When companies raised prices 12 months ago, most gave only a day's notice, yet these decreases do not come in until 19 February. Consumer champion Martin Lewis described it as a "pitiful cut". He was expecting gas and electricty bills to come down by 10 to 20%.

Mr Lewis cautioned consumers against switching their supplier to British Gas, saying that other suppliers would follow suit. "They move with a herd mentality," he said. "British Gas may have been the first to cut, but they not be the cheapest supplier."

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