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SSE cuts household gas prices as customer numbers drop
January 28, 2016 / 7:14 AM / 2 years ago

SSE cuts household gas prices as customer numbers drop

LONDON (Reuters) - SSE, one of Britain’s big six power companies, will cut its domestic gas prices by an average of 5.3 percent from March 29, the company said on Thursday as it announced it had lost 300,000 customers in nine months.

The move follows a similar cut from rival E.ON, which last week announced a 5.1 percent reduction in its gas prices from Feb. 1, piling pressure on others to follow suit.

“This latest reduction will save a typical household gas customer on our standard tariff 32 pounds a year compared with existing prices,” the company said.

Wholesale gas prices are trading around their lowest levels since 2009 because of a milder than usual winter, an oversupplied market and pressure from falling commodity prices.

SSE also said in a trading update on Thursday that customer numbers had fallen to 8.28 million in the nine months to Dec. 31, down from 8.58 million at the end of March.

Despite the loss of customers, the utility stuck to its full-year earnings and dividend targets.

Britain’s biggest energy suppliers, which also include Iberdrola’s Scottish Power, Centrica, RWE npower and EDF Energy, are facing a shake-up from the outcome of a competition watchdog investigation set to conclude in June.

“SSE has taken a step in the right direction and I urge other suppliers to follow suit,” Britain’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said in a statement.

Editing by David Goodman

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