UK power industry watchdog Energywatch has welcomed the recent announcement from npower that it is to reduce its prices, but has also criticized the utility for delaying its cuts until the end of April.

In its recent statement, npower led with the headline npower cuts prices to become Britain’s cheapest gas supplier. The announcement referred to the company’s plan to implement a 16% reduction in its residential gas tariff. However, this change will not happen until the end of April, a delay that has left Energywatch dissatisfied.

Adam Scorer, Energywatch director of campaigns, said: The news that npower is to follow British Gas with a double digit reduction in its gas prices has to be welcome. But with npower customers having to wait until May for bills to come down this is little more than a distant promise of cheaper gas. The negligible cut in electricity price smacks of tokenism and may not persuade customers to stay with npower.

Energy consumers wanted and expected a full blown price war, it appears that all they are getting are skirmishes. This promise of jam tomorrow suggests energy companies are failing to grasp that they need to provide their customers with better value if they are going to keep hold of them.

They are going to have to do much better than this if they want to convince their customers that they are offering good value through our much vaunted competitive energy market.

The German-owned utility is to cut its electricity prices by 3% at the end of April.