Responding to EDF Energy’s price rise of 10.8 per cent on gas and electricity announced today, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director at Consumer Focus Scotland, said:
‘The latest energy price rise will leave even more customers worried about their energy bills. EDF Energy’s tariffs will still be slightly cheaper on average than other suppliers who have increased their prices – but this will be little comfort to those seeing a double-digit percentage rise on their bills.
‘Another price rise, hot on the heels of those we’ve already seen, will again feed into consumer concerns on pack behaviour and whether price changes are driven by real supply and demand issues. Energy companies obviously need to react to wholesale and other pricing pressures – but customers need to know the scale of changes is justified.
‘Moves from EDF Energy to guarantee 100,000 vulnerable older customers the cheapest possible price are however welcome. We would like to see more energy firms making similar moves and for the UK Government to introduce data-matching powers for other vulnerable groups – such as disabled people and families living on low incomes – to make sure those most in need can be identified for extra help.’
Consumer Focus believes people need to see a coherent approach by the UK Government and the Regulator to ensure the energy market works for consumers:
- From next year an average of £4 billion will be taken from consumer bills in the form of carbon taxes. Using a proportion of that revenue to fund a much more ambitious energy efficiency programme could start to tackle fuel poverty and provide a jump start to our energy efficiency industry. See the Energy Bill Revolution for more details.
- Consumers do not know whether they can believe the relationship between energy prices, company profits and the wholesale price of energy. Greater transparency is vital to know whether there is scope for companies to avoid these sorts of price rises.
- Despite recent action from Ofgem and suppliers, the industry still makes it too difficult for consumers to take the simple actions that could save them money. The market must become less complex and less confusing otherwise consumers will not have the confidence to take action.
Notes to Editors:
Energy pricing tables below