EDF Energy introduces 15% price hikes

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EDF Energy has put up its energy prices, increasing its gas prices by 15.4% and electricity by 4.5%.

It is the last of the Big Six to introduce a second round of price hikes in less than a year. The price hikes will come into effect from 10 November.

EDF Energy's announcement will see the average annual dual fuel bill increase from £1,051 to £1,166, based on a customer paying by monthly direct debit.

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Reluctant increases

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, says the energy supplier has held off inflicting increases on its customers for "as long as possible" but must now "reluctantly" pass some of these on.

Rivaz adds the reason EDF Energy managed to hold off bill increases so far is because of its investment in nuclear power, which hasn't been on the receiving end of such volatile pricing as fossil fuels.

"Unlike some other suppliers we have been able to give protection to our customers, particularly for their electricity consumption, because of our choice to invest in low-carbon nuclear generation, which enjoys stable costs compared to gas and coal."

News of EDF Energy's announcement is "not unexpected", says Mike O'Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus. He adds: "The fact that EDF Energy has made smaller and later hikes than other suppliers is welcome, but it won't soften the blow on those who are struggling on tight household budgets."

EDF Energy's price changes put it broadly in line with the other main suppliers, British Gas, E.on, nPower, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy, and suggests consumers have little choice but to accept the hikes.

Consumer Focus wants to see a competition review focusing on the way the energy market is structured and improving transparency for customers, as well as more emphasis on the smaller players in the energy market.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, spokesperson for Ovo Energy, agrees with Consumer Focus. He says the big six "are running out of excuses" for their repeated price increases at a time when British families "can least afford them".
"Three quarters of households are already paying more than they need to because they are in the dark about the alternatives - and the big providers are not compelled to offer them the best deal." 
"Ofgem needs to step in and demand greater transparency and better customer service in the industry. Only then will the practices of the Big Six be challenged and consumers finally get the fair deal they deserve."

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Scottish Power 10% electricity + 19% gas  7 June  1 August
British Gas 16% electiricty + 18% gas  8 July 18 August
SSE 11% electricity + 18% gas  21 July 14 September
E.ON  11.4% electricity + 18.1% gas 5 August  13 September
Npower  7.2% electricity + 15.7% gas 16 August 1 October
EDF Energy  5.4% electricity + 15.4% gas  15 September  10 November