With EON announcing it is to lower household gas prices by 5.1% from February, Fergus Ewing has written to chief executives of the UK’s leading energy suppliers calling for reductions to be passed on to customers.
Wholesale gas prices have fallen almost 30% in the last year, while wholesale electricity prices have dropped around 8% over the same period.
Ewing said: “Leading energy suppliers should tell their customers when bills will start to drop. With wholesale gas and electricity costs falling, customers are entitled to know when they can expect to reap the benefits.
“Significantly lower wholesale prices should lead to lower bills and I want to see cost savings passed on to customers in full and as early as possible.
“In the interests of transparency and fairness, I have asked the leading energy suppliers to identify how these reductions are likely to be reflected in lower energy bills for households and businesses in Scotland.”
Meanwhile, the UK Government is making it easier for new companies to enter and compete in the energy market and there are now 36 suppliers to choose from – more than double the number in 2010.
A spokesman for the Dept of Energy (DECC) said: “This means that independent energy companies now make up 15% of the dual fuel energy market, up from 1% in 2010.
“Meanwhile, the Competition and Markets Authority is investigating how fair the energy market is for consumers and they’re due to report in 2016.
“We are committed to acting on the final recommendations from the CMA and we will not hesitate to take further action where the market is not delivering a fair deal for bill payers.
“We’re also giving OFGEM more powers to crack down on energy suppliers who aren’t treating their consumers fairly.”