People who have not opted to fix their energy tariff yet could find themselves with a bombshell on their doorstep as EDF raises its prices and others are set to follow suit.
EDF has hiked its gas and electricity
prices today by 22 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.
"Given that EDF are already at the foot of the table in terms of price, these increases are going to be a further kick in the teeth for their 7.9 million customers." Sean Gardner, director at MoneyExpert.com, said.
Research from MoneyExpert earlier this year showed that almost 1.4million people missed an energy bill payment, a situation which is sure to get worse as the cost of fuel soars and energy companies act to pass the cost onto the consumer.
The hike will not be suffered only by EDF's customers, said MoneyExpert, urging customers of the company as well as other households to take this opportunity to switch energy provider
and fix their fuel bills for as long as possible.
"EDF customers really should take these rises as a wake up call and start looking around for a better deal. It's certainly out there." MoneyExpert said.
Fool.co.uk has calculated that the average family who gets their energy with EDF will be paying an additional £190 on top of already high fuel bills
David Kuo, head of personal finance at Fool.co.uk, says: "Today's price increase is likely to be followed quickly by other providers. Therefore, we repeat our warning that cheap energy tariffs will disappear from the market by the end of this month.
"We again urge customers to switch to capped-rate tariffs, and to choose one that lasts the longest. According to energy comparison website Xelector, household energy bills will be 50 per cent more expensive by February 2009, while capped-rate tariffs are currently around 15 per cent higher.
"Consumers rarely get a chance to outwit the utility companies, but failing to switch to a capped-rate deal is tantamount to lighting your boiler with five pound notes."
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com said that today's news marks the end of cheap energy, and that it is just one step closer to the largest ever increase in household energy bills in one year.
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis warns consumers that there might only be five of six weeks left before all the other energy companies have fallen in line with EDF and urges everyone to cap their energy tariffs as soon as possible.
"By that, I mean today or tomorrow and no later." he said. "You can still lock in cheap prices if you do it straight away, but cheap caps are vanishing faster than a rabbit at a greyhound track. Do remember that this is only the first round of rises; expect another round in December or January, if not earlier – this is why fixing’s so important."
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