British Gas has launched a new online energy plan, finally stepping into the price war that lost it its crown as Britain’s cheapest supplier. However, it hasn’t made an all out bid to reclaim its title. Instead it has gone for a tactical approach, hitting EDF Energy in its ‘home’ regions – the areas where it is the incumbent supplier.
British Gas’ new Websaver 4 energy plan averages out at £994 a year, while EDF Energy’s average bill size comes in at £983. However, EDF Energy’s plan is only available in 10 out of 14 energy regions, which means that many households, including those in London, will not be able to benefit. British Gas, by making its new plan available in all areas, will be able to target those areas missing out. Its new plan is also available to existing customers.
The online price war is also proving very timely for consumers coming off fixed price energy plans this year. With the potential for further price cuts and online prices currently so competitive, these are being urged to think carefully before fixing again as they could incur an exit penalty if they change their mind at a later date.
Will Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “This is another shot in the price war – but it certainly isn’t the final one. It will shake things up, but we are certain to see other suppliers making moves of their own. This is great news for consumers who are starting to see some very competitive energy prices coming onto the market which, if they take advantage, will help them to manage their energy costs going forward.
“If consumers want to benefit they need to ditch their expensive standard plans and move to one of the new online energy plans. The average standard plan is £1,239 a year while the average online plan is now £1,021 a year – this is an easy saving of £218 a year for the average household. With winter fast approaching, it’s a saving households should definitely be looking to make.”