EDF increases energy prices by 3.9%

EDF Energy prices

EDF has announced a winter price hike of 3.9% for gas and electricity customers.

It is the lowest rise announced so far by a member of the 'Big Six' and will come into effect from 3rd January, thereby keeping a promise EDF made not to increase prices in this calendar year.
Increasing bills
From 3rd January, EDF customers who are not on fixed-rate tariffs will see their bills rise by £49 a year to an average of £1,300.

The increase in bills has been blamed on the same factors the other companies cited including the rising price of transmission and distribution of energy, the cost of social and environmental schemes, the smart meter roll-out and wholesale costs.

The company's Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz, who has called for a Competition Commission inquiry into the energy supply market, said: "The best way to help customers is for us to keep our prices as low as possible. I know that price rises are always unwelcome, but we have taken the first step to show what can be done if rising costs are tackled head-on."

EDF says its price rises are lower than its rivals because it is already factoring in a reduction in the costs of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and other social and environmental schemes. These are passed on to customers in the form of higher costs.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently promised to review these schemes, which is expected to be confirmed in next month's Autumn Statement. However, it's interesting that EDF is already banking on them being scaled back, although it adds that "if changes to social and environmental programmes are less than anticipated, the company may have to review its standard variable prices again".

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Energy price rises
Of the other 'Big Six' energy companies, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was the first to confirm a price rise this autumn, of 8.2%, which actually comes into effect this week.

British Gas was next in line with a 9% rise, or £123 per year on the average bill, followed by npower which had the biggest price rise of 10.4%. The last provider to announce increase plans was Scottish Power and it will push prices up by 8.6% on 6th December. Here's a rundown of all the Big Six price rises so far and when they kick in.

Energy company

Price rise

Date of increase



1st December

British Gas


23rd November

Scottish Power


6th December

Scottish and Southern Energy


15th November



3rd January

How to cut your energy bill
The best way to protect yourself from rising energy prices is to switch to a fixed-rate tariff. This means you'll be paying a set amount over a period of time and the amount you pay won't be affected by rising prices.

The price you pay will depend on your own circumstances but the longest fixed-rate tariff comes from EDF with its Price Freeeze with this currently lasting until March 2017. The second longest is Npower's Price Protector December 2017.

If you're looking for the cheapest fixed-rate tariff, First Utility is in the number one spot with its iSave Fixed v12 which will lock in prices until June 2012, as the table below shows.



Average Cost

Saving vs non switcher's typical bill*

Fixed until

First Utility

iSave Fixed v12 June 2015



Fixed until June 30, 2015


Fixed 1 Year v5



Fixed for 12 months

Green Star Energy

No Worries 12 Months Fixed Version 2310



Fixed for 12 months

Green Star Energy

No Worries 24 Months Fixed Version 1311



Fixed for 24 Months


Price Fix April 2015



Fixed until the 30 April 2015

*Saving calculated against an average bill as declared by OFGEM, 2013. Prices correct on 12/11/13. Source: Energyhelpline.com

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10 of the biggest consumer rip-offs
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EDF increases energy prices by 3.9%

Using a mobile phone to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web while abroad can be extremely costly – especially if you are travelling outside the European Union (EU), where calls can cost up to 10 times as much as at home.

To avoid high charges, Carphone Warehouse suggests tourists ensure a data cap is in place, use applications to check data usage, turn off 'data roaming', avoid data-intensive applications such as Google Maps and YouTube and use wi-fi spots to update social networking sites.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is supposed to help people to continue meeting their loan, mortgage or credit card repayments if they fall ill or lose their jobs. However, policies are often over-priced, riddled with exclusions and sold to people who could not make a claim if they needed to.

At one point, sale of this cover - which was often included automatically in loan repayments - was estimated to boost the banks' profits by up to £5 billion a year.
Now, though, consumers who were mis-sold PPI can fight back by complaining to the bank or lender concerned and taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (08000 234567) should the response prove unsatisfactory.

It could be you, but let's face it, it probably won't be. In fact, buying a ticket for the Lotto only gives you a 1 in 13.9 million chance of winning the jackpot.

With odds like that, you would almost certainly be better off hanging on to your cash and saving it in a high-interest account.

No-frills airlines such as EasyJet may promote rock-bottom prices on their websites. But the overall fare you pay can be surprisingly high once extras such as luggage and credit card payment fees have been added - a process known as drip pricing.

Taking one piece of hold baggage on a return EasyJet flight, for example, adds close to £20 to the cost of your flight, while paying by credit card increases the price by a further £10.
It may therefore be worth comparing the total cost with that of a flight with a standard airline such as British Airways.

Cash advances, which include cash withdrawals, are generally charged at a much higher rate of interest than standard purchases.

While the average credit card interest rate is around 17%, a typical cash withdrawal of £500, for example, is charged at more than 26%.
What's more, as the interest accrues from the date of the transaction, rather than the next payment date, costs will mount up even if you clear your balance in full with your next payment.

Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda often run promotions under which you can, for example, get three products for the price of two.

However, it is only worth taking advantage of these deals if you will actually use the products. Otherwise, you are simply buying for the sake of it, which is a waste of your hard-earned cash.
To avoid paying over the odds, it is also worth checking the price per kilo to ensure that larger 'economy' packs really are cheaper than the smaller versions.

Buy a train ticket at the station on the day of travel and the price is likely to give you a shock - especially if you are travelling a long distance at a busy time of day.

However, you can cut the cost of train travel by 50% or more by going online and making the purchase beforehand - especially if you book 12 weeks in advance, which is when the cheapest tickets are on sale.
Other ways to reduce the price you pay include avoiding peak times and taking advantage of so-called carnet tickets, which allow you to buy, for example, 12 journeys for the price of 10.

Most High Street banks offer packaged accounts that come with monthly fees ranging from £6.50 up to as much as £40, with a typical account charging about £15 per month.

Various benefits, such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance, are offered in return for this fee. But whether or not it is worth paying for them depends on your individual circumstances.
Before signing up, it is therefore essential to check that you will make use of enough of the benefits, and that you cannot get them for less elsewhere.

Overseas money transfers or travel money purchases attract the same high rate of interest as credit card cash withdrawals.

Worse still, most credit cards – and debit cards – also charge you a foreign loading fee if you use them to make purchases while abroad.
You can, however, avoid these charges by using a Saga Platinum or Nationwide Building Society credit card.

Numbers starting 0871 cost 10p or more from a landline, while those starting 09 can cost more than £1 a minute from a mobile phone.

And the operators of these high-cost phone lines, some of which are banks, often get a cut of the call charges.
Most 09 numbers are linked to scams and should therefore be avoided at all costs, while 0871 numbers can often be bypassed by searching for an alternative local rate numbers on the saynoto0870.com.
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