By announcing a rise in the cost of its gas and electricity, E.On has become the fourth of the “Big Six” energy providers to increase its energy prices.
Following in the footsteps of British Gas, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Electricity, from 13 September, the firm will be increasing its gas tariffs by 18.1%, with its electricity costs rising by 11.4%.
E.On, like the other energy providers, is blaming the need to hike up their energy prices on the rising cost of wholesale gas, which has risen by 30% this year. This is the second time the company – which has around 5 million domestic and business customers in the UK – have increased their prices this year. Back in February, E.On announced a 9% increase in electricity prices, along with a 3% rise in gas.
“Uncertain times have had a huge effect on wholesale prices, with events in Japan and Libya all having a dramatic effect on gas and power prices in a relatively short period of time,” said E.On spokesman, Graham Bartlett.
E.On has said that almost 600,000 of its customers will be unaffected, which includes its most vulnerable customers on its WarmAssist tariffs. The firm has also promised its Age UK customers that they won’t incure any more price increases for at least a year.
With it surely only being a matter of time before nPower and EDF announce increases to their gas and electricity tariffs, consumer organisations continue to call for the energy regulator Ofgem to take action.
Despite wholesale costs being around a third lower than they were at their 2008 peak, consumer prices have reached an-all time high.
Chief executive of Consumer Focus, Mike O’Connor, said: “Ofgem has said it is prepared to refer the energy market to the Competition Commission if necessary. That is welcome, but the regulator must be prepared to act if it can’t say for certain whether prices are fair.”
“If consumers are to stomach such price rises, they need to know they are fair,” he added.