EDF Energy has announced its second price rise this year with electricity and gas prices set to rise by an average £70 - act now to beat the increase.

The energy company upped the price of its standard variable electricity tariff by 2.7% in June, but says it is now hiking the cost of electricity by 6.1% and gas by 6% from 31 August.

The change only affects those on EDF's standard tariff – about 1.3 million households. Those on a fixed price tariff, prepayment tariff or the safeguard tariff for vulnerable customers will not see any change.

Today's announcement follows a rise of 2.7% on its standard variable electricity tariff in June - which added an average £16/year to its standard dual-fuel tariff. Combined, the two price hikes mean an £86/year increase to the typical bill, a rise of 7.5%.

It also follows rises from the rest of the big six in recent months - with British Gas, E.on, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE all increasing their standard rates over the last few months.

If you're affected by this price rise, you're likely already overpaying for your gas and electricity. Check if you can switch and save £100s/year with our free Cheap Energy Club.

Martin: "Is this the start of another round of hikes?"

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "This is of course a hard hit for millions of EDF customers. It is sneaking this one through while the sun’s shining hoping most people’s focus will be on the football and the weather rather than its price hike.

"This potentially has an impact far beyond just EDF’s own customers. All the big six companies have already increased prices this year. This is EDF’s second rise. So the big question is: is this the start of another round of hikes?

"We have very rarely in the past seen one company increase prices and the others not follow, as they’re like sheep. And certainly the fact that EDF is blaming this on the wholesale price (what the energy companies pay for gas and electricity) indicates that it’s likely. If that’s true, we could see some people paying 10% more this winter for their energy than last winter.

"So this is a clarion call to everybody who is on a big six standard rate, not just EDF customers. You are ripping yourselves off, and if you do not act it is likely to get even worse. Typical savings of £300 a year are easily possible. Go and do yourself a comparison on a site that is automatically whole of market, like MoneySavingExpert’s Cheap Energy Club, as some comparison sites hide tariffs that don’t pay them. And if you choose a firm with decent customer service you can get the best of both worlds; far cheaper prices, and a much easier company to deal with. Do nothing and frankly your energy bill is just burning money."

How are prices changing?

The EDF price rise affects about 1.3 million homes on its standard variable tariff:

  • Gas prices are set to rise by an average 6%, a £34/year hike on average
  • Electricity will rise by an average 6.1%, or 37/year.
  • Dual-fuel bills will rise by 6% on average, or £70, from a typical £1,158/year to £1,228/year.

In April, EDF's standard variable tariff also saw a 1.4% increase - from a typical £1,142/year to £1,158/year - after raised electricity prices only - by 2.7%.

This means a typical dual-fuel household on the supplier's standard tariff will see prices rise by a total 7.5% this year - adding £86/year to the average bill.

How can I beat the hike?

If you're on a standard variable tariff, you can switch away from it without paying any exit fees.

There are much cheaper deals on the market. The cheapest, a variable deal from small supplier Usio Energy, is £857/year based on typical use - £370/year cheaper than EDF after its latest hike comes into effect. Find the best deal for you by doing a full market comparison on our free Cheap Energy Club.

Even if you're determined to stay with EDF, it has cheaper deals. Its Easy Online Aug19 tariff costs an average £1,090/year for dual fuel based on typical usage - nearly £140/year less than its standard tariff will be from Friday 31 August. You can search the cheapest deals with your current supplier on Cheap Energy Club.

How are prices changing across the big six?

Since the start of the year, the average big six standard tariff has risen by 6.5% - or £74/year - for a typical dual-fuel household, from £1,132/year to £1,206/year.

Not only does this include standard rate hikes from all big six suppliers - and two from EDF - it also includes a backdoor price hike from E.on in April and the removal of SSE's online discount in May.

Big 6 Standard Tariff comparison

Supplier New standard tariff Old standard tariff Percentage increase Takes effect from
Npower 1,230 1,166 5.5 Sunday 17 June
EDF 1,228 1,158 (i) 6.0 Friday 31 August
Scottish Power 1,211 1,148 (ii) 5.5 Friday 1 June
E.on 1,208 1,153 (iii) 4.8 Thursday 16 August
SSE 1,196 1,121 6.7 Wednesday 11 July
British Gas 1,161 1,101 5.5 Tuesday 29 May
Based on calculations from regulator Ofgem for medium usage. All tariffs assume dual fuel and monthly direct debit. (i) Includes EDF's 1.4% rise in June. (ii) Includes a 2.7% rise following the removal of a 20/year dual-fuel discount, and £5/year per fuel paperless discount in April. (iii) Includes the removal of the £6 per fuel annual paperless discount in May.

What does EDF say?

Béatrice Bigois, EDF Energy Managing Director of Customers, said: "We know that another price rise will not be welcome, and we had hoped that our limited changes announced in April would be enough. However, energy costs have continued to rise significantly and despite our best efforts to absorb some of these by reducing the costs within our control – sadly we can no longer sustain this.

"Customers who wish to avoid this increase will be encouraged to choose one of our fixed price tariffs when we write to them later this month."