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EDF announces second energy bill hike in 2018 affecting 1.3m customers

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EDF Energy has announced a 6 per cent increase on its standard variable tariff, the second hike the provider has unveiled this year.

The standard variable duel fuel tariff will increase to £1,228 a year, a rise of £70. The company said the change, which comes into effect from 31 August, will impact 40 per cent, or1.3 million, of its customers.

It blamed rising wholesale fuel costs for the increase, citing an 18 per cent price rise since the start of the year. This was due to a number of factors, EDF said, including the Beast from the East, which reduced gas storage stocks over the winter, and the continued surge in oil prices.

EDF managing director of customers Béatrice Bigois said: “We know that another price rise will not be welcome, and we had hoped that our limited changes announced in April would be enough. However, energy costs have continued to rise significantly and despite our best efforts to absorb some of these by reducing the costs within our control – sadly we can no longer sustain this.

“Customers who wish to avoid this increase will be encouraged to choose one of our fixed price tariffs when we write to them later this month.”

The group said the previous hike, which came into effect in June, included an increase on electricity that “wasn’t fully reflective of all the cost pressures cited by Ofgem, as the company aimed to offset some of these through its own cost cutting”.

EDF said it has also held its gas prices for some time now, but “despite significant efforts to reduce costs”, it is not possible to continue to absorb such significant increases.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Wholesale costs have been increasing but this is the second price rise from EDF in less than three months and pushes their standard variable tariff right to the top in terms of most expensive – at £1,228 just a fraction cheaper than npower.

“The previous rise, announced in April and effective from 7 June, was relatively small compared to the other Big Six suppliers, but it was still a rise and by announcing another one today they are hitting customers when they’re already down.

“We’re in the height of summer and enjoying a massive heatwave, but this announcement shows that price rises, either from Big Six or emerging suppliers, can happen at any time, and usually when customers least expect it.”

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