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From 18 January the firm’s dual fuel customers will see prices soar by 8.7%, while price hikes will also apply to electricity-only (up 7.7%) and gas-only (up 9.4%) customers.
Following the rise, the company’s average dual fuel bill will go up from £1,260 a year to £1,370, an increase of £110. The move will also see the average household energy bill reach a new all-time high of £1,352 a year, up 23% compared to January 2011.
E.On has stuck to its pledge to not change prices before the end of 2012, and has blamed the decision to increase prices on a number of factors including rising wholesale prices, the cost of transporting energy to homes, and the increasing cost of government social schemes.
“We have held back from increasing our prices for as long as we possibly could and at the same time have worked hard to reduce our own costs as a business so that our customers can get the best price possible,” said Tony Cocker, E.On chief executive.
Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, argued that although “wholesale prices and other costs have increased enough to justify these rises” higher energy prices will be, yet again, “the greatest concern for many households this winter.”
This winter almost nine in ten households are expected to ration their energy use to save on bills and last winter three quarters of households went without heating at some point due to cost, according to uSwitch.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, added: “E.ON deserves credit for holding out the longest before raising its prices and for at least protecting its customers to the end of this year.
“But, this hike is still a bitter blow for consumers, who will now ring in the New Year with higher energy costs.”
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