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News: Bigger energy bills - and more to come

Energy bills will become an even bigger drain on our household budgets, the consumer watchdog energywatch said as EDF Energy announced another double digit increase in its prices this week.

With a further 19% on gas bills and 8% for electricity from 31 July 2006, the average EDF Energy customer will have to fork out £642 for gas and £357 for electricity a year. Consumers were paying around £324 and £240 respectively just three years ago.

EDF Energy (which includes the old London Energy, Seeboard, SWEB, brand names) has 1.3m gas customers and 3.5m electricity customers.

Director of campaigns for energywatch, Adam Scorer said: "There is a wretched sense of inevitability about all of this. We know that wholesale energy prices are running at historic highs and show no sign of letting up. We know that means all the energy suppliers will be looking at their prices. It is bad news from EDF Energy today, and could get worse as others follow over the coming months."

"To its credit, EDF Energy has been one of the leading companies when it comes to helping their most vulnerable customers, and more measures have been announced today. EDF Energy customers should contact the company to find out what help might be available to them."

"But with soaring price rises since 2003 putting close to three million in fuel poverty, we desperately need a coherent strategy to tackle fuel poverty for all consumers, not just a series of initiatives from individual companies, no matter how laudable they are."

"Very few can afford to ignore the size of their energy bills and consumers will want to avoid as much of the increases as they can. Consumers should follow our Energy Smart guide bills."

 

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