In a rather shocking move, the Big Six energy supplier EDF has raised energy prices for the second time this year. The company announced a further increase of 9% on their standard variable electricity tariffs and 5.5% on their standard variable gas tariffs. This came as a huge blow for the energy customers and a surprise for the entire domestic energy market as the combined effect of both the hikes will push the dual fuel direct debit tariffs up by 8.5%. By making such a bizarre declaration, the Big Six energy supplier has shattered the energy consumer’s hopes of getting cheaper energy deals.
Late last year, EDF announced an 8.4% increase in its standard variable tariffs for electricity whilst it reduced its gas energy prices by 5% which came into effect this March. However, its latest announcement will force the 1.5 million EDF customers to pay 18.1% more on electricity while the gas prices remain flat by balancing the previous deduction. The average dual fuel energy customer will pay £78 a year extra on their energy bills and the annual payable amount would be around £1,160. This has smashed all hopes of obtaining cheap home energy plans especially when the UK is facing an economic downturn.
The energy regulator Ofgem has highly criticised both the hikes and said that this is proof that the energy market is not working in the favour of consumers. Dermot Nolan, Ofgem’s chief executive, said: “EDF’s second price rise in four months, when there has not been a dramatic rise in wholesale energy prices since it last put up prices, is difficult to justify and is further evidence that the energy market is not working in all consumers’ interests.”
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz defended the company’s decision to not offer cheap energy deals any further by saying that “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.”
The EDF representative went to say, “it has faced a range of rising costs for some time, in both wholesale energy and non-wholesale energy costs and obligations.” He also added that “the rise still leaves EDF Energy with the lowest variable gas tariff of all major suppliers.”
Undoubtedly, this is especially heart breaking news for EDF energy customers who survived the initial increase, only to now have to face a further energy price hike. Experts suggest that expecting cheaper energy deals from the Big Six energy suppliers seem to be a distant dream as of now, but all is not yet lost.
Shay Ramani, the founder of one of the leading energy price comparison sites FreePriceCompare reacted on the announcement by saying that “The Big Six energy suppliers are being ruthless in announcing energy price rises and this is an alarming time for consumers who should take it as a final call to start gas and electricity price comparison. EDF customers need to count their savings and switch to a cheaper gas and electricity supplier without a second thought. Getting energy discounts and cheaper home energy plans is the biggest relief for UK households especially when the UK is facing the economic downturn.”
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