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Winter price freezes from British Gas and SSE should “lead the way”

1 December 2016

Citizens Advice has today said that large suppliers should hold off raising standard tariff rates this winter, following price freezes announced by British Gas and SSE.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“A winter price freeze will provide some relief to people paying a steep price for the standard tariff.

“Energy customers on the standard tariff are already paying a premium - their bills are as much as £380 more than for those on cheaper fixed deals.

“British Gas and SSE have led the way by promising not to raise prices - we now expect others big firms to do the same. Larger energy firms didn’t pass on savings when wholesale prices were going down, so those savings can be used to support customers now that wholesale prices are rising and the pound is down.

“Price freezes by suppliers are welcome but it’s also important that the government looks at a more permanent way to bring down costs for people on the standard tariff. One way to do this would be automatically switch low-income customers who have been on the standard tariff for years to a cheaper deal.”

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.