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Highlights

Prime Minister Theresa May called a general election for 8 June. With both the major parties promising action on energy prices after the election, energy will likely be one of the key topics in campaigning

The Conservatives announced plans for a standard variable tariff (SVT) price cap understood to be based on the existing PPM cap, which would aim to save consumers £100/year
Labour’s leaked draft manifesto includes plans for a government low-cost tariff in each region, and a commitment that no household will have to pay more than £1,000/year for energy
Some SVT tariffs continue to be priced higher than prepayment (PPM) tariffs, following the introduction of the PPM cap (see Figure 1). All the large energy suppliers and several small and medium suppliers are pricing PPMs below the price of SVTs

Ecotricity has priced its PPM tariff £170/year cheaper than its SVT; npower has the second greatest difference at £120/year
In April, Money Saving Expert’s Big Switch 7 offered a price of £854/year, £25/year lower than the cheapest tariff on the wider market. This marks the first collective switch offering a tariff below-market prices in over a year

Renewable energy supplier Bulb’s single variable tariff was on average the cheapest of its kind on the market. It sources 85% of its energy from hydro and 15% from biogas and is priced at £888/year

Spark Energy now offers the cheapest prepayment rates at £976/year on average. This is £91/year below the cap and £15/year cheaper than E Energy, the second cheapest PPM supplier

Pricing

IRESA, the cheapest fixed-price and prepayment supplier for the last five months, withdrew all tariffs from sale on 11 April. It has not yet begun accepting new customers again (see page 7)

As a result, Avro Energy is now cheapest supplier on average and seven suppliers are cheapest in at least one region: Affect Energy, Avro Energy, Bristol Energy, Bulb Energy, E.ON UK, Economy Energy and So Energy

Two days after IRESA withdrew its tariffs, Economy Energy increased its fixed price tariff by £47/year. It had been the second cheapest on the market and the only tariff to be competitive with IRESA across the board. It is now cheapest supplier in only the London region

Co-operative Energy launched new low-cost tariffs, reducing the price of its cheapest tariff to £181/year less than in March

Regional pricing spreads narrowed in most regions. Some suppliers however widened their pricing between regions:

EDF Energy’s spread is widest, with a differential of £254/year. Three regions are priced below £920/year, while six are priced between £1,000-1,050/year and the South East and South West regions are priced above £1,100/year
E.ON UK has a narrower differential, with £210/year between cheapest and most expensive regions. Pricing is grouped by six more expensive regions, priced around £980-£1,060/year, and eight less expensive regions, priced between £850-£900/year
Innovation

Tonik Energy and Powervault will partner to trial a battery storage and smart tariff combination. The partnership aims to provide a proof of concept for the “UK’s first storage tariff”, with Powervault saying it could reduce electricity bills by up to 35%

Good Energy has re-opened its Fintry Local Tariff, a trial smart grid in a Scottish village. 84 of the 300 local households signed up last year, using smart meters and local renewables generation to balance demand; the second trial will include time-of-use tariffs and introduce electrical heating

E.ON UK launched a solar PV and battery storage solution in the UK, with combined systems starting at £7,495. 1,000 customers in Germany have taken up a similar offer since its launch in early April. The supplier said customers could save as much as 80% or £560/year on electricity bills

Co-operative Energy is trialling ‘time of use’ and ‘local energy’ tariffs through its Community Energy Strategy

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