Co-operative Energy has heaped further pressure on the UK’s big six energy providers, after the supplier said it will reduce the amount an announced price rise.
The company reported last month that it would increase what it charges its consumers starting in January next year by 4.5%, but it has now decided to go back on this, stating that the increases will drop by almost half.
Putting the customer first
In a statement Co-operative Energy said its move is something of an attempt to put its customers ahead of profits.
In what it said is a clear reaction to the fact the government has indicated a desire to remove the mandatory energy companies obligation (ECO), under which they need to make an effort to make bills more affordable for less fortunate customers, and green taxes on gas and electricity, Co-operative has reassessed its price hike.
The company’s 150,000 or so customers will now see their bills rise by just 2.5% – far less than the higher-than-inflation totals many of the big six have promised.
Ramsay Dunning, group general manager at Co-operative Energy, said: “As we stated in our recent price increase announcement, there were a number of factors that were out of our control, including costs associated with buying energy and getting it into people’s homes, that we reluctantly had to pass on to our customers by raising prices.
“However, given the expectation that an announcement is imminent that the burden of green and social taxes will be removed by the government, we have decided to take a leap of faith and remove this element.”
Big six rises remain
However, while Co-operative Energy has made this bold move, none of the big six have yet promised their customers similarly good news.
This is despite the fact that the ECO has been the main factor blamed in the increases they have announced so far.
This week, EDF became the fifth of the big six to announce that there will be rises in what it charges. The French firm’s customers will have 3.9% levied onto their combined bills this winter.
It is a rise that is less than half what its competitors have already announced, with SSE having unveiled an 8.2% rise last month, swiftly followed by a 9.3% increase for customers of British Gas.
In the weeks to come, it is highly likely that E.ON will also increase what it charges, with Tony Cocker, managing director of E.ON’s UK arm saying earlier this week that the company had seen profits falling.
He added that the firm is holding off energy price increases for its customers for longer than any of the other big six companies.