Scottish Power and EDF Energy cut gas bills

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Scottish Power has joined EDF Energy in announcing a cut in its gas tariffs.

The Glasgow-based firm said that from June 15th its gas prices will fall by 16.5 per cent, with EDF Energy earlier revealing that its gas customers could expect reductions of 10.2 per cent from the same date.

Today's price cuts follow similar announcements from other energy companies in Britain, and come a week after energy watchdog Ofgem publicly urged customers at EDF and Scottish Power to find another supplier due to excessively high tariffs.

Consumer groups have given a lukewarm response to EDF Energy's gas bill reductions, with price comparison website MoneySupermarket describing the firm's move as "too little and far too late".

Ofgem had widely criticised EDF and Scottish Power over their refusal, up until today, of lowering customers' bills after wholesale gas prices fell.

As part of today's announcement though, Scottish Power said its electricity bills would rise by 5.5 per cent from June 15th onwards.

But the company insists it has "protected" its customers from a "substantial part" of the 200 per cent increase in wholesale energy costs experienced between 2003 and 2006.

Willie MacDiarmid, director of energy retail at Scottish Power, added: "Now that costs are starting to subside we are delighted to offer our customers one of the cheapest energy products in the market.

"We can also assure our customers that we are committed to giving them value for money in the longer term and will continue to review our pricing structures."

Earlier on today, Vincent de Rivaz, EDF's chief executive, said: "EDF Energy listens very carefully to what our customers are telling us. That's why we have been winning customers each month for the last two years."

Last week, British Gas cut its gas and electricity prices for the second time in six weeks.

The Centrica-owned firm is to make a further six per cent cut in the cost of electricity and an additional three per cent cut in the price of gas.

The company said the cuts will reduce bills by an average of £40, or £207 a year, for those who are signed up to receive gas and electricity services.

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