EDF Energy has confirmed that it is to raise its prices by 10.8% on gas and electricity from 7 December 2012.
It makes it the fifth energy supplier out of the ‘Big Six’ to raise its prices in a series that saw British Gas, SSE, npower and ScottishPower all raise their prices in the run-up towards winter.
It will be the last price rise of any of the Big Six energy suppliers to raise its prices as E.ON froze its prices until January next year – however it too is widely expected that it too will announce a price rise before the end of winter.
EDF Energy’s announcement brings the average household energy bill in the UK to £1,334, and comes on the same day freezing temperatures were expected to hit the UK.
What’s to blame?
In what has become a common theme in this round of price hikes, EDF Energy blamed ‘gas and electricity networks, mandatory energy efficiency and social schemes, plus the rising price of wholesale energy’ – reasons reflected in British Gas’ blog piece for uSwitch that indicated that depleting North Sea reserves were going to drive up the cost of energy.
Martin Lawrence, Managing Director of Energy Sourcing and Customer Supply said: “We know that customers will not welcome this news and do not want to see prices going up. Our new prices will however be cheaper on average than those of all the other major suppliers which have announced standard price rises so far this autumn.
“We’ve taken extra measures to make sure the most vulnerable benefit from the best deals and we continue to help customers reduce their bills with energy efficiency measures.
“It’s worth pointing out that one in five of our customers are already on competitive fixed priced tariffs and will not be affected by these price changes this winter. And for those worried about any future price rises, EDF Energy has launched Blue +Fixed Price March 2015 which comes with a guarantee that its price will not increase for the next three winters.
‘The final hammer blow’
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said: “This is the final hammer blow for energy bills this side of Christmas. Consumers now face a winter of rationing their energy usage – many will be forced to turned their heating down or off for fear of the impact of these hikes.
“Some households are already performing a juggling act to balance budgets and keep their heads above water. And the added pressure of the latest round of energy rises may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. However, we welcome EDF Energy’s support for its most vulnerable elderly customers who will automatically benefit from its cheapest prices. This could be a lifeline for many.
“Consumers who don’t shop around for a competitive energy tariff may have a bitter pill to swallow following this round of price rises. However, all is not lost. There are still some competitive fixed price plans available that will protect consumers from price hikes for the next couple of winters. If consumers take control of their bills right away and manage their energy usage efficiently, they can defend themselves from these winter price hikes.”
Average household energy bills rise
We scoped out the old and new energy bill sizes per supplier in the table below:
|Supplier||Current bill size||New bill size|
Based on a medium user consuming 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas with bill sizes averaged across all regions.
What should I do?
Sick of changing energy prices? Then it’s advisable to opt for a fixed priced plan so you don’t have to worry about price rises over the next few years. Look out for fixed priced energy places with no exit fees so that if you do want to switch at a later date, you still can.
If you don’t want to fix your prices, it’s still advisable to run an energy comparison – the majority of us are STILL not on the cheapest plan in our area and with rising prices, this is more important than ever. Compare energy suppliers and switch to the deal that saves you money and suits your household.