Energy company EDF has announced it is hiking up its electricity prices by 17% and its gas prices by 22%.
The price rises come into effect immediately and will mean typical customers on a dual fuel tariff will pay £3.97 a week more for their energy.
EDF said wholesale energy prices had increased by 70% for coal, 63% for gas and 47% for electricity since it last increased its prices in January.
The chief operating officer of EDF Energy customers branch, Eva Eisenschimmel, said: ‘We have been absorbing some of these costs in recent months, but we now have to pass on some of the resulting rise in wholesale costs to our customers.
‘While the rise in wholesale prices is out of our control, we have been doing everything possible to keep our own costs in check.’
EDF Energy is one of Britain’s biggest energy suppliers with 5.1 million customers.
Energy companies had been widely expected to raise utility bills this summer as wholesale prices have increased.
Switch with Which?
An independent report last week commissioned by British Gas owner Centrica warned that prices could increase by 70%.
Customers who want to see how much they could save by switching to a different supplier should go to the Switch with Which? site.
Alternatively, call the Switch with Which? freephone helpline on 0800 533 011. It is open 8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
Alison Morrison of Switch with Which? said: ‘For the past few months there has been a lot of speculation that energy prices will rise by up to 40%, and now EDF Energy is the first to take action.
‘While the other energy suppliers are quiet at the moment, don’t be fooled, expect some more announcements in the following weeks.
‘However, we’d urge people not to panic as a bigger bill isn’t the only option. Very simple changes, like going onto a dual fuel bill, paying monthly and by direct debit, can save a significant amount of money.
‘If you’re one of those people who didn’t switch your supplier after the first price hike, or have never done it before, now is the time to do so.’