Gas prices cut by an average of 8%
New £50 winter rebate for vulnerable customers with electric heating
ScottishPower today announced reductions in its gas prices for around 1.6 million domestic gas customers and a new winter rebate for vulnerable customers who heat their homes with electricity.
From 31st March 2010 ScottishPower’s gas prices will fall by an average of 8% or £66 per annum*, one of the highest price cuts announced by any major supplier this year. These latest reductions follow recent cuts to ScottishPower’s Online and Fixed Price offers and will make ScottishPower cheaper on average than British Gas for gas^.
Announcing the cuts, Raymond Jack, ScottishPower’s, Director of Energy Retail, said:
“We understand that household budgets are tighter as a result of the economic recession and recognise our customers are concerned about the effect of the recent cold weather on their heating bills. With this in mind we are pleased to be able to pass on lower prices and offer additional support to those most in need.
“We must remember though, that despite reductions in wholesale prices, the gas we are using today was bought well in advance when prices were much higher. It is important that we do this to ensure we have sufficient supplies when customers require them and to protect customers from volatile spot market prices.
“Typically, less than 60% of a bill is now based on wholesale costs. Investment, government obligations and the delivery of energy to the home make up a significant portion of our bills. Over the next few decades, the energy industry will need to invest over £200 billion to ensure that we have a modern and reliable low carbon electricity network.
“To get the most from our new lower prices we would also encourage all of our customers to make sure they are taking advantage of our best deals. By making simple changes to the way they pay and by choosing to manage their account online, ScottishPower customers could make further savings of up to £382#.”
In addition to the gas price cuts, ScottishPower has also announced support for those vulnerable customers who heat their homes with electricity through a new £50 winter rebate**. Under this program 60,000 vulnerable customers will receive a £50 rebate by the end of March 2010 to help with the cost of their winter fuel bills. This package is in addition to the existing Fresh Start social tariff scheme, which already helps around 80,000 customers over 60 and in receipt of qualifying state benefits with savings of up to £382 per year. ScottishPower also remains the only UK supplier to set standard prepayment prices significantly below standard cash rates for both gas and electricity.
Media information: Simon McMillan 0141 566 4875 / 07753 622 257
Notes to Editors:
* 8%, £66 reduction is based on a domestic customer using 20,500 kWh of mains gas annually, averaged across payment methods and regions.
^ Based on customers paying monthly by Direct Debit or via a Prepayment meter.
# Annual saving of £382 is based on an average of ScottishPower's Gas & Electricity Offer customers across Britain with annual mains gas usage of 20,500kWh and annual Standard Rate electricity usage of 3,300kWh, who pay quarterly (excluding prompt payer discounts) and switch to ScottishPower's Online Energy Saver 8 Offer, paying monthly by Direct Debit.
** The £50 winter rebate will be applied to multi-rate electricity accounts. Vulnerable customers have been identified using an Experian Fuel Poverty index. The rebate will be automatically credited to relevant customers accounts by 31st March 2010.