Announcing increases in residential electricity prices of an average 4.5% with gas jumping to 15.4% EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz called for a Competition Commission inquiry into prices.

EDF Energy which has a business model hooked into nuclear generation says it’s been able to keep costs low as it’s not as exposed to the international gas and coal markets.

The company, which says despite the increases it ‘continues to be the cheapest dual fuel supplier nationally’, will bring in the new tariffs on November 10.

Mr de Rivas talking about the increases said trust needs to be rebuilt between the consumer and energy companies.

He said: “We have absorbed rising wholesale energy, network and other costs as long as possible but must reluctantly now pass some of these through to consumers.

“However, unlike some other suppliers we have been able to give protection to our customers, particularly for their electricity consumption, because of our choice to invest in low carbon nuclear generation, which enjoys stable costs – compared to gas and coal and has had a strong performance this year.

“As a responsible company, we are committed to competitive prices and fairness to our customers and at the same time meeting the huge requirements for investment in Britain’s energy infrastructure.”

Mr de Rivaz also said EDF Energy was ‘the only major energy supplier’ to freeze prices for customers over last winter and the first to launch a tariff designed to help its most vulnerable customers.

Energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, said: “I want to see greater protection for consumers and I want to put small companies on an equal footing with the bigger players in the energy sector.

“The coalition government is bringing about greater openness in energy markets and will strengthen competition – that’s good news for both business and consumers.”

Labour’s shadow energy and climate change secretary, Meg Hillier, said: “It’s with sickening inevitability that we see the last of the big six raise its prices.

“This is a much lower increase in electricity than the other energy companies which begs the question of why EDF can raise the price less than others?”

Luke Walsh

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