Scottish Power start year with savings for its customers
Scottish Power has become the fourth of the countryís ëbig sixí energy suppliers to apply bill reductions for its customers, following the governmentís announcement last month about green levy cuts.
The change in policy has meant that Scottish Power customers will now enjoy a 3.3% decrease in their annual bill costs, taking the average cost to £1235 a year for each consumer. This marks a £40 drop from the amount customers were paying before, and is set to benefit over 2 million people across the UK.
Nevertheless, the decrease only represents a small portion of the 8.6% rise that the company implemented back in October, with customers still paying more than they did just three months ago.
Fixed rate tariff customers will have their bill costs left unaffected by the green levy reduction, with Scottish Power announcing that only variable bills would be impacted.
They did however confirm that they would be supplying all customers with the £12 warm home discount rebate they are entitled to following the alteration of its funding source from green levies to general tax.
Government ministers will likely view Scottish Powerís announcement as another success of the policy changes identified in the Autumn Statement last month, with only SSE and Npower now left to pass on savings from green tax changes to its customers.
The change came after months of fierce debate between the countryís main political parties, with politicians from both sides disputing the correct course of action to reduce the costs of consumer bills across the country.
Labour leader Ed Miliband previously identified his intention to freeze energy prices for 20 months should he win the 2015 General Election, though this has been staunchly opposed by the current administration, who have argued that the introduction of competition within the energy market and the reduction of green levies are the necessary remedy to rising prices.
And whilst it appears that the latter policy implementation has been a success thus far, it has still failed to detract criticism from Labour, who have hit out at the energy firms who have yet to pass on savings to their customers, despite the fact that the majority of their counterparts have done so.
This addresses Npower and SSE in particular, who have yet to apply any changes to their tariff costs though it is expected that they will do so early this year.
Praise however was reserved for energy giant British Gas, who played a prominent part in the reduction of green levies and passed on the savings at the start of the year to all of its variable customers.
Despite the positive news for consumers about new bill prices, it has been warned that they may be £ 2 million out of pocket next year when energy companies will be forced to repay the £5 reduction in network charges, with interest.
Ofgem have also complicated the process of annual bill calculation by lowering the average consumption data they usually use to determine the value of yearly bills.
This has meant that Scottish Powerís average annual bill was already determined to be £1275, prior to the 3.3% decrease.
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