Energy firm EDF today announced a 15.4pc jump in gas tariffs as it became the last of the major suppliers to put up prices.
Average electricity tariffs will also rise by 4.5pc in changes that will come into effect on November 10 and reflect rising wholesale energy, network and other costs.
EDF’s decision means that all of the big six power suppliers have now raised their tariffs for the coming winter.
Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of EDF Energy, said it had been able to delay the decision longer than its rivals because of its sourcing of nuclear energy, but added that it must “reluctantly” now pass some of these higher costs through to consumers.
EDF said the higher charges would add about 33p a day to a dual-fuel bill, while the annual cost of a standard dual-fuel bill paid for by direct debit will rise to £1,165 against £1,051 previously. Mark Todd, director of the price comparison service Energyhelpline.com, said the average dual-fuel customer paying quarterly would see annual bills rise by around £120 from £1,120 to £1,240.
EDF added that even with higher charges it would be the cheapest major supplier of dual fuel and claimed that by delaying its increase by three months customers could have saved £30 compared with Scottish Power, the first of the big six to raise tariffs this year.
Mr de Rivaz added: “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 and has had a strong performance this year.”
Mr de Rivaz also said EDF would welcome a Competition Commission inquiry if it helped clear up some of the “widespread lack of understanding and suspicion of the industry as a whole, among the public, customers in general, politicians, regulators and others”.
He added: “If a Competition Commission inquiry is necessary to build this trust, then it is a step that should be taken. We would welcome the opportunity to explore all the issues fully and openly. As a fair company, we have nothing to hide.”
Tom Lyon, an energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “The sad fact is that you cannot have two consecutive rounds of energy price hikes in less than a year without seeing casualties.
“The visible victims are the 6.8 million or a quarter of all households now living in fuel poverty, but they are more than matched by those for whom energy is rapidly becoming unaffordable, who are struggling to pay their bills and who are starting to self-ration their usage as a result.”