EDF Energy has announced a rise in its standard variable electricity and gas tariffs. EDF will raise the price of its standard variable dual fuel tariff by 7.2% (£78) in June. EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “I know that price rises are never welcome, but the industry is facing significant cost increases. To be a sustainable and responsible business, we aim to make a fair margin in supplying customers. This fair margin allows us to invest for the long term, in particular in good service, innovation and smart metering. It also allows us to help more customers choose the right tariff for them.  We have cut all the costs under our control without compromising our customer service. We accept that the Government, regulators and consumers groups have concerns about the way markets work for customers, particularly the energy market. We will continue to work with them constructively for the benefit of customers”.

EDF Energy Managing Director of Customers Beatrice Bigois said: “The majority of our customers will not be affected by today’s announcement and we have delayed this increase until the summer when energy consumption is lowest. We are encouraging those on variable tariffs to join the one and half million who have already fixed their prices. We are also providing extra support for vulnerable customers on variable tariffs with a £100 rebate.”

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy, responding to the announcement said: “This is the second price rise EDF has announced in less than 6 months and 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.

“It’s positive that EDF will offer some of its most vulnerable customers a £100 rebate on their energy bills. But action is urgently needed across the industry to protect the poorest households from repeated price hikes. 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.”

Ben Wilson from Gocompare.com Energy, said: “Ramping your customers’ bills once is bad enough, but going back for more just a month later is an utter disgrace. From June, EDF will be rewarding loyal customers by charging them over 17% more for their electricity than they were at the start of the year. The worry is that this is just the tip of the iceberg and other providers will be encouraged to ‘double-dip’ too, which could be disastrous for millions of homes.

“We’ve had a couple of years with a fairly benign energy market and consumers have been lulled into a false sense of security.  But now is definitely the time for action, with other increases, previously announced by the big six, kicking in across the board during March and through to the end of April. Yes, EDF is planning to contact all customers on standard variable tariffs, with an offer to review their tariff or payment method, but there is still a real danger that this one will slip under the radar or get filed in the ‘can’t be bothered’ category, in a large number of homes.”

Peter Earl, Head of Energy, comparethemarket.com, said: “The second EDF price hike is pretty astonishing, especially given they were one of the first to freeze prices back in January. We just hope this doesn’t start another round of prices rises across the other Big Six suppliers. If this move doesn’t shake people off standard variable tariffs, then I’m not sure what will. For those 1.5 million customers, the message is clear – switch supplier now! Lock in your costs and give yourself some financial certainty at a time when inflation is driving up prices everywhere.”