EDF Energy noted that tariff hikes were required as wholesale energy prices have risen to record highs with increases of up to 70% since the last price change in January 2008.

The utility said that 100,000 of the most in-need customers will benefit from 15% discount following the expansion of its social tariff scheme. Over GBP11 million is expected to be spent on targeted help.

The utility is investing GBP74 million in 2008 to improve housing insulation and on other energy efficiency measures to reduce customers bills, with GBP54 million being solely spent on customers facing fuel-poverty.

EDF Energy said that its Price Protection 2009 tariff plan helps customers fix their prices until October 2009, offering security and protection from possible future price increases in a volatile market.