EDF to hike energy prices but government promises action to curb bills
EDF customers will be hit with average price hikes of 7.2% - or £78 a year - from 21 June, the Big Six provider has announced.
The move is made up of a 5.5% (£29) increase to gas bills and a 9% (£49) increase to electricity prices, which will take the average dual fuel price to £1,160 a year.
It’s the second increase in four months for EDF customers who were hit by an average 8.4% (£42) hike to electricity bills from 1 March. Gas prices did, however, fall by up to 12.9% from 6 January.
Those on fixed deals or prepayment meters are unaffected by the latest hike, which EDF says makes up 55% of its customers.
EDF blames the increase on rising wholesale energy and non-wholesale energy costs and obligations.
Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy says: “I know that price rises are never welcome, but the industry is facing significant cost increases.
“To be a sustainable and responsible business, we aim to make a fair margin in supplying customers. This fair margin allows us to invest for the long term, in particular in good service, innovation and smart metering. It also allows us to help more customers choose the right tariff for them. We have cut all the costs under our control without compromising our customer service.”
EDF is however, writing to 680,000 customers who don’t pay by direct debit to encourage them to make that change, which it says will save them 6.4% or £80 a year.
One-off automatic rebates will also be paid to 67,000 vulnerable customers on variable tariffs. These will be £100 for dual fuel and electricity only customers with no gas mains, and £50 for single fuel customers.
Government to set out plans to help energy users
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to announce a cap on rip-off energy bills “within weeks”, according to a report in The Daily Mail.
The newspaper says the Prime Minister’s spokesman told it: “We are concerned by the planned increases [energy suppliers have announced].
“We are committed to getting the best possible deal for households and expect energy companies to treat their customers fairly.
“Wherever markets are not working for consumers, this Government is prepared to act.”
Moneywise has contacted Number 10 for a response and will update this news story if we get one. However, a spokesperson for the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) told us: “Although millions of people are switching energy suppliers, the majority remain on poor-value standard tariffs.
“This price rise, branded ‘difficult to justify’ by Ofgem, will hit around half of EDF’s customers. It’s another sign the market isn’t working, and we will shortly set out proposals to help energy consumers as part of the Government’s Plan for Britain.”
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Claire Osborne, energy expert at uSwitch, says: “This is another blow to EDF customers who are only just coming to terms with the hike that came into effect last month.
“As always, consumers don’t need to sit back and accept this – they can take action to protect themselves from any unexpected price increases. The best way to stay in control of household budgets is to switch to a fixed deal. Not only could this save hundreds of pounds, but it will provide much needed peace of mind that you won’t be hit by rising energy bills.”