EDF to cut variable gas prices and freeze electricity costs before 8.4% rise
EDF is to cut variable gas prices by 5.2% from January, and freeze variable electricity prices until March before an 8.4% rise.
The French-owned energy giant also announced that pre-payment gas customers will get a 12.9% cut for three months from January before a price cap recommended by the Competition and Markets Authority takes effect.
The changes mean that EDF's new standard dual fuel direct debit price will increase by 1.2% to £1,082 a year.
The variable gas price cut will affect 700,000 customers, while 200,000 pre-payment gas customers will benefit from the three-month cut from January.
Beatrice Bigois, managing director of customers at EDF Energy, said: "We want to help loyal customers by cutting gas prices ahead of the coldest winter months, and delaying electricity increases until later in the year. This will save customers money this winter.
"Gas pre-payment customers on our variable tariffs will also benefit three months ahead of the price cap being introduced following the Competition and Markets Authority investigation.
"Many industry commentators have said that prices charged by energy suppliers will rise after the winter. We are being open about the fact our electricity prices will go up after our price freeze. But we also know it is right to pass on to loyal customers the fall in gas costs that energy suppliers have seen over recent months.
"With energy prices rising, we will continue to make it easy for customers to move on to EDF Energy's fixed tariffs, where they can save money and get peace of mind. Letting customers know now provides them with more time to lock in a cheaper fixed deal."
EDF said electricity costs have been rising, but gas prices are not facing the same pressures.
A statement said: "Since the last electricity price change over three years ago, a number of electricity costs have risen substantially.
"EDF Energy has worked hard to limit the impact of these costs for customers through efficiency savings across the business, whilst its responsible policy of buying energy ahead of time has protected customers from the more recent volatility in wholesale energy costs.
"However non-wholesale energy costs have risen to ensure reliable supply though investment including in networks, renewables and metering."
Around 1.5 million EDF customers - 44% of the total - are on fixed tariffs, one of the highest proportions of the larger suppliers, and will not be affected by the price changes.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "EDF Energy's decision to change its gas and electricity prices will have a big impact on people's bills.
"Cuts to the gas price will result in welcome savings for customers who use EDF Energy to heat their homes. But for millions on the supplier's electricity and dual fuel tariffs energy bills will go up and financial pressure will increase.
"EDF Energy's move to bring forward its price cap for people on gas prepayment meters offers welcome protection for these customers."