Homeowners might be tempted to install thermodynamic heating systems in their properties over the next few years to save money on their energy bills, instead of paying ever-increasing fuel tariffs.
This comes after both British Gas and EDF have boosted their charges. The former recently announced it raised its prices for those on a standard variable tariff by 5.5 per cent, amounting to between £47 and £72 per year.
Meanwhile, EDF has also increased its costs, with standard variable dual fuel Direct Debit customers expecting to see their bills grow by 1.4 per cent from June 7th. This equates to £16 per year, taking their annual costs to £1,158. While 59 per cent of EDF Energy customers will be unaffected by the change in tariff as they are on fixed rates, 41 per cent will be.
In addition to this, EDF will increase its charges for customers paying by cash or cheques by £6 per fuel per year.
It stated these price increases are due to the rise in energy and policy fees and the cost of installing smart meters the company has to pay.
Energy managing director of customers Beatrice Bigois said: “We have worked to offset rising energy and policy charges by cutting our own costs.”
“We will be writing to affected customers this month to encourage them to choose a fixed price tariff or to pay by Direct Debit to save on their bills,” she added.
However, the bill hikes have been met by substantial criticism. Comparethemarket.com is one such company that has spoken out against the change, stating that it “beggars belief” EDF has had to increase costs when it raised prices twice in 2017 already.
Peter Earl, head of energy at the price comparison site, said it will have an impact on 1.3 million customers in the UK, while British Gas’ new fuel prices will increase bills by £60 per year for 4.1 million households.
He stated this will be “a bitter pill to swallow for many around the UK who have already faced significant increases in costs over the past few years”.
Indeed, Citizens Advice’s director of energy Victoria MacGregor commented that there are “serious question marks” about whether the price hikes are justified.
She added: “[The] price rise re-emphasises the need for the government to act quickly and bring in its cap on poor value default tariffs.”
In February, the government introduced its Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap), which will put a limit on energy bills until 2020, to parliament. It intends to protect 11 million households across England, Wales and Scotland who currently pay the most expensive energy tariffs, as well as the five million who are already protected by Ofgem’s cap.
Some people pay £300 more a year than they need to, so the cap will prevent suppliers from over-charging customers by such a degree. The Bill will also see smart meters rolled out nationwide to reduce energy use and make homeowners more aware of their fuel consumption.
Until the legislation is in force, however, Mr Earl encourages energy users to shop around for a supplier, as they can save £200 a year on their bills by switching.