MILLIONS of EDF Energy customers face paying £118 a year extra as it hikes bills by 10 per cent from April 1.
It means an existing customer on its standard variable tariff (SVR) will see their bills rise from £1,136 to £1,254.
It is the second firm to push up prices following an announcement by Ofgem last week that there would be an increase to the energy price cap.
Yesterday, E.ON announced an increase for 1.8million customers – adding £117 a year to bills – from April 1.
The cap is supposed to protect customers who roll onto an SVR from being grossly overcharged, but critics say that people can still save more by switching suppliers.
It means that E.ON and EDF’s energy SVR tariffs are now almost £300 more expensive than the current cheapest deal on the market.
EDF Energy, which has 1.3million customers, is also pushing up bills for those on pre-payment meters – adding £106 a year or 9 per cent.
Experts warn that this is the beginning of a “tsunami of price rises that will sweep across the Big Six”.
Victoria Arrington at Energyhelpline said: “The first price cap cut into profits, and now suppliers are hoping to make some of this back by raising their prices.
“The price cap still does offer some protection to consumers, but you can do so much more to potentially lower your bills.”
While Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “As soon as Ofgem increased the price cap level it became almost inevitable that most customers on standard deals would see their bills rise right up to the cap.”
How to find a cheaper energy deal
FIRSTLY, you’ll need to have a recent bill to hand. This will have all the details you need, including the name of your tariff and your recent spending on gas
- Use a comparison website: Customers can use websites such as uSwitch.com or Energyhelpline.com to compare tariffs and find a cheaper deal. You could save up to £400 a year if you’ve never switched before.
- There are other service you can turn to: MoneySavingExpert’s Cheap Energy Club will let you set up an email reminder that alerts you when cheaper deals become available.
- Things to do before you switch: Compare prices and before you switch check to see if you can get cachback from a website like Quidco or TopCashback
Customers can still benefit from a cheaper deal by switching supplier and locking in to a fixed-rate deal ahead of April 1 when the new cap is due to come into effect.
Ofgem’s first cap was introduced on January 1 this year, claiming that it will save customers around £76 a year.
But five weeks later, it announced that it would be raising the cap to £1,254, leading consumer groups to slam the move as it wipes out the yearly savings first promised.
Other suppliers are expected to announce similar rises in the coming week.
Since it was announced, energy supplier nPower has also blamed the energy price cap as it announced it would cut 900 jobs.
Earlier this year, the Big Six energy firms were accused of running cartel by charging very similar prices.
As the temperatures drop, here are 19 tips on how to cut your energy bills and how to make the most of your tariff.
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