BRITISH Gas said today it was cutting its gas and electricity prices from next month.
The energy supplier, which is part of Centrica, will cut standard tariffs for gas by 17% and electricity by 11%.
The price cuts, which come into force from March 12, represent the first such move by a major power supplier following a series of price hikes - most recently a 12.4% gas price rise and 9.4% electricity price rise from last September.
Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said British Gas would now be offering the "lowest prices on the street".
A new social tariff would also be introduced for "very vulnerable" users such as those on income support and pension credit, he said.
Mr Laidlaw defended the decision not to pass on the whole of a 50% drop in wholesale prices to customers.
But he pledged that any further falls this year would be reflected in lower bills.
British Gas has increased gas prices seven times since 2002, with electricity tariffs rising six times. It last cut prices in spring 2000.