- 35 updates
British Gas has announced it will cut its duel fuel energy bills by an average of £53 from 1st January, but its customers bills will still be higher than last year:
Following the Government's announcement on green energy levies, ITV News Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg has written:
British Gas announced it is to cut dual fuel energy bills by an average of £53 from 1st January.
EDF became the first energy firm to announce a price freeze yesterday, saying it does not anticipate that its prices will rise again in 2014.
EDF Energy said its "decision to hold back the full impact of rising costs" earlier this month had been "validated by [the] confirmation that the Government will take action on energy charges".
The firm said in a statement, "EDF Energy expects to be able to maintain its lower price rise of 3.9%, as anticipated. That decision left customers with bills £80-96 lower than major competitors who had announced price increases".
Energy Secretary Ed Davey told Sky News he thinks people will welcome the Government's plans to reduce the impact of rising energy bills.
Asked whether npower's CEO was right to say the proposed saving was dependent on wholesale costs, Mr Davey said, "The £50 is real - that is going to happen - he is right to say that we can't control international markets ... We are keeping our costs down and that will feed through to the consumer.
Mr Davey suggested Paul Massara's comments show the problems with Labour's "irresponsible" price freeze policy.
The Government has announced plans to reduce the current cost of levies on energy bills, which it said will save households an average of £50 a year.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it will establish a rebate saving the average customer £12 on their bill and reduce the cost of the Energy Company Obligation insulation scheme.
"While the Government cannot control the price of energy in the global market, it can help bill-payers by reducing the impact of social and environmental programmes on their bills," the DECC said in a statement.
npower have pledged not to increase their energy prices before Spring 2015 but only if wholesale costs do not rise.
In a statement, the company welcomed the Government's energy plan as an "important step" in cutting energy costs for customers.
"We welcome today's announcement as an Important step in cutting energy costs for our domestic customers," chief executive Paul Massara said.
"As a result of this announcement we will reduce our bills. We are currently calculating how large this reduction will be, and can assure our customers that it will fully reflect the reduction in the costs to our business.
"In addition, in order to give our customers greater certainty with their household budgets, we don’t plan to increase energy prices before Spring 2015, unless there are increases in wholesale energy costs or network charges.”
Ed Miliband will dismiss the government's energy levies shake-up as "smoke and mirrors" tomorrow, saying ministers do not "get" the cost-of-living crisis.
The Labour leader is to insist that the "cosy deal" reached with the 'Big Six' power firms will still see bills going up this winter.
Addressing staff at the VW National Training Centre in Milton Keynes, he is expected to say that the "link between the wealth of our nation and family finances has been broken".
"Too many houses and flats priced completely out of reach of people starting out. And the costs of essentials - like gas, electricity and train fares higher than can be justified," he will add.
Chancellor George Osborne has defended the government's plans to reduce energy bills.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, he said: "What we're going to do is rollback the levies that are placed by Government on people's electricity bills. This will mean that for the average bill payer, they will have £50 off their electricity and gas bills".
He added that "we're pretty clear" that energy companies have got to "pass on a reduction in the costs that the Government puts on energy bills".
The shadow chancellor Ed Balls has voiced sceptism over the coalition's plans to reduce energy bills.
He told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "What they're doing is shifting from energy bills on to the taxpayer, that's not a cut that's just a shifting of the burden".
"Fundamentally, what's happening is that energy prices are going up this Winter by £120-130, a £50 cut when they're going up by twice that, means that people are still paying more in energy."
Mr Balls added: "I set two tests for George [Osborne]- one, would he stop bills rising? Secondly, would the energy companies pay?
"I would say to George, while the Prime Minister is in China, get back to the drawing board, come up with a policy, we've had lots of u-turns already, do another one, freeze the bills, take Ed Miliband's policy - that would be wise."
Latest ITV News reports
The coalition has unveiled measures it says will knock £50 off the average energy bill, but some of that cost will be absorbed by taxpayers.
The Government has laid out its ideas on how to cut energy bills this winter - but the plan has been put together in haste.