Press release:

Warning bell as Co-op Energy announces 3% price hike

  • The Co-operative Energy is to raise its standard energy prices by 3% from 1st October[1]
  • Average household bill for a Co-op Energy dual fuel customer on a standard plan will increase from £1,152 to £1,184 a year[1]
  • But customers on prepayment meters will see bills rise by 6% from £1,115 to £1,184 per year[1]
  • New prices make Co-op Energy’s standard rates more expensive than the Big Six[2]
  • Co-op Energy is the first major energy supplier to raise its standard tariff prices since 2014 – although it has already increased the cost of its fixed deals by £219 this summer[3].

The Co-operative Energy has today announced that it is putting its prices up by 3% for gas and electricity[1]. The increase comes into effect on the 1st October[1]. It will add an extra £32 to Co-op Energy’s average standard dual fuel bill, which will increase from £1,152 to £1,184 as a result[1].

Today’s news is a blow to consumers as it brings to an end a period of standard price reductions, and could be a signal that smaller suppliers are feeling the impact of rising wholesale prices.

Claire Osborne, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Consumers have had some respite from price rises over the last two years. But adding £32 to an already expensive deal will leave some buckling under the pressure.

“This is a worrying warning bell that the wholesale price honeymoon may be drawing to a close. Wholesale prices are now climbing at the fastest rate in years, driven by upward pressure on the cost of energy imports from the falling value of sterling following the EU referendum, future supply concerns and higher transmission costs. Unfortunately, it’s the smaller suppliers who are less able to cope as they cannot buy their energy as far ahead as the Big Six. The danger is that other small suppliers could now follow suit and raise their prices – just in time for winter.

“Co-op Energy’s price rise means its standard rates will be £46 a year more than the average Big Six standard tariff. We strongly urge consumers not to take this on the chin, but to fight back. You don’t have to watch your energy costs soar. Consumers concerned about rising energy costs should shop around and consider switching to a fixed rate tariff, to get protection against any potential future price hikes.”

Table 1: Average household energy bills:

Supplier Plan names Pay on Receipt of Bill Monthly Direct Debit Prepayment
British Gas Standard £1,102 £1,044 £1,102
EDF Energy Standard (Variable) £1,139 £1,069 £1,139
E.ON E.ON Energy Plan £1,117 £1,047 £1,117
Npower Standard SC £1,172 £1,077 £1,172
ScottishPower Standard £1,161 £1,081 £1,142
SSE Standard £1,136 £1,056 £1,148
Average £1,138 £1,062 £1,137
Co-op Energy Pioneer £1,184 £1,121 £1,184

 Based on a medium user consuming 3,200 kWh of electricity and 12,500 kWh of gas on a standard dual fuel tariff, paying quarterly by cash and cheque, with bill sizes averaged across all regions.

  1. Table 2: The Co-operative Energy price changes:

 

   Direct Debit  Pay on receipt of bill  Prepayment
Current rate 1/9/16 £1,089 £1,152 £1,115
Rate from 1/10/16 £1,121 £1,184 £1,184
Difference £32 £32 £69

 See Table 1.

  1. The Co-op Fix for Longer September 2017’ tariff, costing £770 at the start of June, has since been replaced twice. Its equivalent deal, ‘Co-op Online October 2017’, now costs £989, an increase of £219.

— ends —

Notes to editors

  1. Table 2: The Co-operative Energy price changes:

 

 Direct Debit  Pay on receipt of bill  Prepayment
Current rate 1/9/16 £1,089 £1,152 £1,115
Rate from 1/10/16 £1,121 £1,184 £1,184
Difference £32 £32 £69

 See Table 1.

  1. The Co-op Fix for Longer September 2017’ tariff, costing £770 at the start of June, has since been replaced twice. Its equivalent deal, ‘Co-op Online October 2017’, now costs £989, an increase of £219.

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