3 Feb 11

Millions of EDF Energy customers continue to benefit from Winter Price Freeze Guarantee until the start of March

EDF Energy becomes the last major supplier to announce a rise in standard domestic residential prices, effective from 2 March

During winter, when gas consumption is at its highest and Britain endured the coldest December for 100 years, EDF Energy was the only major supplier to freeze its prices

EDF Energy customers have benefited from some of the lowest prices of any major supplier, two winters in a row

New pricing structure to be introduced by the company to make bills simpler following customer feedback

EDF Energy has today announced that following the fulfilment of its Winter Price Freeze Guarantee next month, it will raise standard residential tariffs for gas bills on average by 6.5% and electricity bills on average by 7.5% for a typical customer, from 2 March 2011.i Today’s announcement sees EDF Energy become the last major supplier to announce a price change, increasing its standard residential gas unit prices for the first time since 2009. The change amounts to an increase of £1.31 per week on a nationally averaged typical Dual Fuel direct debit bill.ii

EDF Energy stood apart from the other major suppliers by committing to a price freeze during a particularly cold winter, when gas consumption is at its highest. As a consequence, EDF Energy customers have benefited from some of the lowest prices in the market when it matters most. A typical customer will have consumed just over half their annual gas consumption during this periodiii and this year winter gas consumption was even higher than usual during the coldest December in 100 yearsiv (please see graph below). EDF Energy has also been among the cheapest two suppliers for standard dual fuel customers paying by cash/cheque for 90 out of the past 100 weeks.v

Effective purchasing of wholesale gas many months in advance enabled EDF Energy to protect its customers from a price rise during each of the last two winters. However, increasing wholesale prices and non-energy costs, such as higher network charges and new environmental obligations, have forced the company to raise prices from 2 March.

Following customer feedback that bills should be clearer, EDF Energy will also be improving the simplicity and transparency of bills by extending its online and fixed price tariff structure to most of its tariffs, eliminating banded pricing for standard metered customers.vi These customers will now pay a standard unit rate for all energy consumed, plus a small standing charge per day. For a dual fuel customer with standard gas and electricity meters, this charge is 35pvii per day. The overall price change announced today includes these costs.

Martin Lawrence, Managing Director, Energy Sourcing and Customer Supply at EDF Energy, said: "Although we regret the need to raise prices, we held out for longer than all of the other major suppliers and we hope our Winter Price Freeze Guarantee shows that not all energy companies are the same. We have delayed this increase until the end of a particularly difficult winter, which included the coldest December in 100 years. In these difficult economic times, we have done our best to protect our customers from rising energy costs and for two winters running we have offered some of the cheapest standard dual fuel prices, viiiwhen customers use the most gas to heat their homes."

EDF Energy takes its responsibility to vulnerable customers seriously and has gone far beyond regulatory obligations to support customers struggling to pay energy bills and to keep warm. There are currently over 165,000 customers continuing to benefit from the company’s discounted Energy Assist tariff for vulnerable customers and EDF Energy will be spending £27 million over 2011/12 to support its most-in-need. The company has donated £17m to the industry’s first independent trust fund, the EDF Energy Trust Fund, since its inception, making over 20,000 awards to customers in serious household debt.

EDF Energy encourages its customers to call its UK-based call centres on their freephone number if they have any questions or would like to discuss their energy needs.

i Percentage increase for electricity and gas increases to a typical bill (3,300kWh electricity and 16,500kWh gas per annum), averaged out across all regions, meter and payment types.

ii Standard domestic typical dual fuel direct debit bill, averaged across all regions, rises from £983 per year to £1051 per year, a change of £5.68 per month or £1.31 per week. This takes into account the change of the tariff structure. All bills based on Ofgem’s new definition of typical consumption of 3,300kwh electricity and 16,500kWh gas per annum and include relevant discounts and VAT charged at 5%.

iii Between 9th November 2010 and 28th February 2011, total proportion of gas consumed as a proportion of the annual average usage is 53% using information based on EDF Energy consumption demand figures.

iv Sourced from Met Office press release dated 5th January 2011 (full copy available from: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/cold-dec).

v EDF Energy has ranked in the two lowest priced suppliers for the period 1st November 2008 to 1st March 2010, with the exception of October & November 2010 (when EDF Energy was the third cheapest supplier). Based on annual bills, calculated on the 1st of each month, for a customer consuming 3,300kWh electricity and 20,500kWh gas per year – and shown as an average across all regions for cash/cheque.

vi Customers who have time of use tariffs such as Economy 7, Economy 10, Eco 20:20 will continue to see multiple unit rates on their bills with a single standing charge. All figures include VAT.

vii Standard electricity charge is 13.81p/day; Standard gas charge is 20.71p/day. Combined charge for dual fuel customer receiving standard electricity and standard gas from EDF Energy is 34.52p/day. All standing charges include VAT charged at 5%.

viii EDF Energy has been among the two lowest priced suppliers for the winter period (December to February) in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 based on annual bills, calculated on the 1st of each month, for a customer consuming 3,300kWh electricity and 20,500kWh gas per year – and shown as an average across all regions for each of the main payment methods (direct debit, cash/cheque and prepayment).