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Scottish Power have announced that their annual gas bills will decrease in price for domestic customers from February 27th. The company are the last of Britain's ‘Big Six' energy suppliers to drop their annual energy tariffs.
The likes of EDF Energy, Npower and E.ON have already announced their reduced prices in January. Scottish Power customers will undoubtedly be breathing a significant sigh of relief at the news which saves them from being trapped with high energy tariffs heading into 2012.
Scottish Power is reducing gas prices by 5% due to a recent decline in wholesale prices. The move will benefit customers by an annual average of £36 for both dual fuel and gas only customers, and it is also exclusive to those customers who hold a monthly Direct Debit.
Whilst this is great news for customers at the moment, these lower gas bills are not likely to be in place for long. Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power warned that prices would continue to rise in the long run, despite these current reductions.
Reasons for further increases in the future will be justified by "the global demand for energy increasing faster than its supply,” according to Neil Clitheroe, Scottish Power CEO. He also feels that this imbalance between supply and demand will "inevitably lead to higher energy costs in the long-term.”
Perhaps this explains why Scottish Power refrained from leaping straight in with its major competitors in the New Year by announcing a cut in energy tariffs. The company appears to have a more cautious view on what is undoubtedly a volatile market.
Due to the above-average temperatures for this time of year and a flagging economy, gas and power consumption has slumped. Since the autumn, British wholesale electricity and gas prices have fallen by approximately 10%. This has forced the top suppliers to drop prices across the board in an attempt to encourage consumers to increase their energy usage.
Britain's ‘Big Six' increased their tariffs last year during August and November, driving sharp increases in wholesale prices. There is little doubt that this drove the UK's inflation to its peak in September.
Despite the recent respite, numerous British families are currently struggling to manage their household finances effectively because of the rises. Because of this situation, comparing energy prices among the current suppliers could be the secret to avoid overpaying for energy consumption this winter.