Just a week after the energy price cap increase, EDF energy announced it will hike prices for 1.3 million gas and electricity customers.
As the second of the Bix Six suppliers to increase bills (after E.ON), EDF raised its standard variable tariff cost by 10%, pushing the average annual cost up by £118. This means the average household on the SVT tariff will pay £1,254 a year for gas and electricity. Customers on a prepayment meter will face a £106 rise. Overall, the move will add £160 million to bills across the UK.
Victoria Arrington, a spokeswoman for energy helpline, said “There is little doubt that this is just the beginning of a crushing wave of price hikes we are expecting across the Big Six.”
A spokesperson from EDF Energy called the price hikes a response to changes in baseline costs for energy companies, saying “Ofgem’s announcement confirmed that costs increased significantly last year and this was further evidenced by the collapse of several small suppliers. As a responsible and long-term business, it is important that we reflect the costs we’re facing.
They added that “These changes for standard variable tariffs will not come into effect until 1 April and we will write to customers before then, highlighting the other tariffs available that they can switch to.”
Just last week, Ofgem announced that the duel-fuel price cap would rise by £117, or 10.3%, per year from April 1 for customers with average energy use.
Simply Switch’s Mike Rowe said: “With E.ON and EDF having now hiked their prices, its only a matter of time before the rest of the Big Six follow suit. SVTs will always be expensive though, even with the cap, and so we’d always recommend that customers try to switch to a cheaper fixed rate deal where possible.”
Ofgem’s price cap came into effect on 1 January, and the regulator claimed that it would protect customers and save 11 million households on SVTs £76 per year on average.
Customers are being widely encouraged to shop around for better deals. EDF’s SVT is currently estimated to be £286 more expensive than the energy market’s cheapest fixed rate deal available.
The price rise came just after an announcement by EDF that it would close its Cottam power station in Nottinghamshire six years earlier than expected. The coal-fired power plant will cease generating power at the end of September 2019 after nearly half a decade of operation.
EDF blamed “the challenging market conditions over the last few years and the context of the drive to decarbonise electricity generation”.