EDF Energy has however introduced what it claims to be an industry first in the UK, by announcing a fixed price deal to last until 2010.

The company added that the standard customer increases would be in the region of 7% for power and 19% for gas, and the company’s move is the second time this year that it has put prices up.

We have been absorbing some of the costs of increased wholesale prices in the hope they would ease. However, prices have remained high with little prospect for reduction in the foreseeable future. Reluctantly we now have to pass on a proportion of the resulting costs to customers.

Even after this rise, our prices remain competitive, and we are still the only major energy company with a special discount tariff for very low income customers, says Derek Lickorish from the company.