EDF to cut gas prices, but hike electricity bills

Published by Helen Knapman on 16 December 2016.
Last updated on 16 December 2016

Energy plug

EDF customers on a standard variable tariff will see their gas bills fall by up to 12.9% from 6 January 2017, but electricity prices will be hiked by up to 8.4% from 1 March.

Moneywise explains what’s happening. 

For customers without a prepayment meter eg, those who pay by direct debit or quarterly billing, here’s what’s happening:

  • Standard variable gas prices will be cut by 5.2% (£29 a year based on an average user paying by direct debit) from 6 January 2017.
  • Standard variable electricity prices will be frozen until 1 March 2017, but they will then rise by 8.4% (£42 a year based on an average direct debit user).
  • For the average dual fuel standard variable customer paying by direct debit, this represents a 1.2% (£13 a year) increase, according to EDF.

 

 

For customers with a prepayment meter, which is where you pay for energy in advance, here’s what’s happening:

  • Standard variable gas prices for prepayment customers will be cut by 12.9% (£78 a year for an average user) from 6 January 2017.
  • Standard variable electricity prices for prepayment customers will rise by 3.6% (£19 for the average user) from 1 March 2017.
  • For the average dual fuel prepay customer, this amounts to a decrease of -5.1% (£58) per year, according to EDF.

 

EDF says it’s the first standard variable increase in more than three years.

Check now if you can switch and save

The announcement comes as only this morning Moneywise warned households to check if they can switch and save as experts have predicted price rises for 2017

Commenting on EDF’s announcement, Mark Todd, co-founder at price comparison website Energyhelpline, says: “We expect this to be the smallest price rise of the season and the first of many. We expect rises to average out closer to 5%. The cheapest rates have risen 18% since the summer so there is much greater impetus for hikes than just 1%.

“We urge consumers to take this as proof that price rises are definitely coming and to use it as a catalyst to get off the horrible standard tariffs that make so many cold and penniless and get onto a nice low-cost fixed rate that makes heating your home affordable.”

 

Claire Osborne, energy expert at price comparison website uSwitch adds: “Increasing the price of an already high energy bill could leave almost two million EDF standard variable customers buckling under the pressure, and it’s a bitter pill to swallow even if it is after the winter months – consumers still need to keep the lights on.

“But customers concerned about the rising cost of energy don’t have to sit back and watch their energy costs soar. They should shop around and switch to a fixed deal now to protect against any future price rises.”

Stephen Murray, energy expert at price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, summarises: “The market is moving very quickly, almost as quickly as the temperature drops, so customers should get online, find a fixed rate tariff which saves them probably £200 a year and more, and switch.”

Why is EDF upping prices?

EDF says it’s upping prices due to rising electricity costs. In a statement it said: “A number of electricity costs have risen substantially. EDF Energy has worked hard to limit the impact of these costs for customers through efficiency savings across the business, whilst its responsible policy of buying energy ahead of time has protected customers from the more recent volatility in wholesale energy costs. However non-wholesale energy costs have risen to ensure reliable supply though investment including in networks, renewables and metering.”

Beatrice Bigois, managing director of customers at EDF Energy, adds: “Many industry commentators have said that prices charged by energy suppliers will rise after the winter. We are being open about the fact our electricity prices will go up after our price freeze.  But we also know it is right to pass on to loyal customers the fall in gas costs that energy suppliers have seen over recent months.”

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