Appointments, Customers

Supplier's second price rise of 2017 sparks more calls for better consumer protection

Consumer groups have responded angrily to the announcement that EDF Energy will raise the price of its standard variable tariff (SVT) for the second time this year.

The supplier announced today that its dual fuel SVT will increase by 7.2 per cent from 21 June. This comprises a 9 per cent increase in the cost of electricity and a 5.5 per cent increase in the cost of gas.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, the statutory consumer champion for energy, said EDF Energy’s move will “come as another blow to its loyal customers”.

“People on EDF’s standard variable tariffs are already feeling the effects of an electricity price rise that came into force last month, a fresh price hike of £78 a year will hit those already struggling,” she said.

In a statement about its decision EDF Energy committed to offer vulnerable customers affected by its price hike a £100 rebate.

Guy welcomed this news but said that more “action is urgently needed across the industry to protect the poorest households from repeated price hikes”.

One way of doing this would be to extend the cap on energy prices for prepayment meter customers, suggested Guy.

“Extending the prepayment meter cap to credit meter customers eligible for the Warm Homes Discount would guarantee protection for millions of the poorest families and pensioners.”

Consumer watchdog Which? joined Citizens Advice in criticising EDF Energy’s price rise.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, labelled it “disappointing”

“Customers sitting on EDF’s standard tariff should look to switch to a better deal straight away,” she urged.

Neill added that “millions” of UK customer are suffering from a “lack of competition in the energy market”

“If energy companies fail to properly engage with their customers to help them find better deals, then the Government and the regulator must step in.” she warned.

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