EDF Energy becomes fifth of the big six to push bills up

EDF Energy has become the fifth of the major energy suppliers to increase its prices as it announced an average price rise of 3.9 per cent from 3 January 2014.

The energy company said it was holding back rising costs, including from the Energy Company Obligation (Eco) social and environmental scheme in order to limit price rises for customers

The move makes EDF Energy the fifth of the big six energy companies to increase prices after Scottish Power, Npower, British Gas and SSE recently announced bill hikes of between 8.2 and 10.4 per cent.

The company’s new average standard variable price will now be £1,300, a rise of £49 a year.

EDF Energy said it has taken action ahead of the outcome of the government’s review of the costs of Eco and other schemes.

If the government makes bigger changes to the costs of its social and environmental schemes than EDF Energy has anticipated, the company said it would pass these savings onto customers.

However, the firm said if changes to social and environmental programmes are less than anticipated, it “may have to review its standard variable prices again”.

According to Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy’s chief executive, “non-energy costs” and a continued upward trajectory in wholesale prices could increase the burden on bill-payers further.

De Rivaz also repeated his call for a Competition Commission inquiry into the energy supply market, and he renewed his proposals for policy-makers and Ofgem to adopt petrol-forecourt style pricing.

“The best way to help customers is for us to keep our prices as low as possible”, he said.

“I know that price rises are always unwelcome, but we have taken the first step to show what can be done if rising costs are tackled head-on.

“We are ahead on the Eco scheme and our experience has been positive but we must also challenge the cost and affordability of this and other schemes.

“Something can and must be done for consumers.”