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Govt warns it could break 'Big Six' energy firms up

The Big Six energy companies were tonight warned the government would break them up if The Competition Authority were to recommend it.

The watchdog accused the firms of overcharging millions of customers who stay with the same supplier rather than shopping around for the best deals.

ITV Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

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  1. Chris Choi

Smaller power firm Ovo squares up to Big Six with 10.4% cut

The Energy Secretary has warned big power firms that they "can't hide", after one of their smaller rivals offered more than double the price cut of the so-called Big Six companies.

Ovo has more than doubled the cut offered by its Big Six rivals Credit: PA

Today's price drop means that while the average customer of the major firms will see a four per cent reduction in gas prices, customers of Ovo will see a drop of 10.4 per cent.

Now consumer groups are urging companies to drop prices further - and extend their reductions to electricity prices.

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SSE to slash gas prices by 4.1%

SSE to cut household gas prices at end of April Credit: PA Wire

SSE is to reduce household gas prices by 4.1% on April 30 before extending its energy price freeze until at least July 2016.

It is the latest energy firm to announce a cut in gas prices.

British Gas announced a five per cent cut in prices, npower is to cut its standard tariff by an average of 5.1%, E.ON reduced tariffs by 3.5 per cent, and Scottish Power announced a 4.8 per cent drop in prices starting February 20.

Davey: Customers should cash in on gas price war

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has urged homeowners to cash in on the gas price war and switch suppliers to get the best possible price.

As npower becomes the latest Bix Six energy firm to slash bills, with a cut of 5.1 per cent, the Lib Dem MP also urged SSE and EDF to follow suit and cut tariffs.

It comes amid plummeting wholesale costs, with Ofgem revealing prices have fallen by 19 per cent year-on-year.

Energy chiefs say more gas bill cuts 'under review'

More gas bill cuts could be on the cards if wholesale prices continue to fall, bosses at energy firm npower have promised.

Chief executive Paul Massara vowed that bills would be kept under review - and said the firm had cut tariffs as much as possible amid plummeting wholesale prices, while reflecting increasing costs elsewhere.

Bosses claim they have had to balance falling wholesale prices with increasing costs elsewhere Credit: PA

The announcement of a 5.1 per cent price cut by npower - the largest drop of the Big Six firms - comes as wholesale energy prices fall by around 19 per cent.

Today's announcement means we can get the benefits we are seeing in the wholesale market to our customers pockets as soon as possible.

We have balanced this wholesale price fall against increases in the other costs we are charged. If there are further falls in wholesale prices, we will keep these under review to see if we can cut further.

– Paul Massara, npower chief executive

Energy firm npower to slash more than 5% off gas bills

Energy giant npower has become the latest firm to announce a cut in gas prices.

From February 16, the supplier will cut its standard gas tariff by an average of 5.1 per cent - the biggest price cut of its competitors - benefiting its 1.3 million customers by around £35 a year.

More than half of the so-called Big Six energy firms have now reduced tariffs this month Credit: PA

It comes after British Gas announced a five per cent cut in prices, E.ON reduced tariffs by 3.5 per cent, and Scottish Power announced a 4.8 per cent drop in prices starting February 20.

It means more than half of the so-called Big Six energy firms have now reduced tariffs this month, in line with a sharp fall in wholesale costs.

SSE and EDF have not yet announced any changes.

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