Gas and electricity prices fall

The UK's largest energy providers have announced various drops in gas and electricity bills this week.

EDF Energy came first with a five per cent cut in its gas price effective from 7 February, while British Gas was hot on their heels with an immediate five per cent cut in electricity.

Soon afterwards Eon, Scottish Power, and Npower followed suit with cuts of up to six per cent.

The price cuts have been welcomed, but many believe the 'big six' energy providers should still do more to help consumers already squeezed by pay freezes and high inflation.

Commenting, chief executive of Citizens Advice said: "The huge hikes in fuel bills have really stretched people's budgets so we are pleased to see that EDF has cut its prices. Energy companies were keen to put up customers' prices when the wholesale price went up - so they should be just as eager to drop the price when it goes down. "

But the cuts won't fix a broken energy system, says Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Paul Steedman: "EDF's claim to have cut prices is completely disingenuous - their prices have still risen almost 10 per cent in a year.

"Tinkering in the margins of massive price hikes won't fix our broken system - the Big Six are ripping us off and making billion in profits from their addiction to fossil fuel.

"And only today EDF came 14th out of 15 energy companies for customer satisfaction - proving hard-pressed customers are getting a bad deal.

"Cameron must launch an urgent inquiry into the Big Six's power and influence to give us energy we can all afford."