In a move to reassure customers E.on’s managing director Graham Bartlett took over one the firms twitter accounts talkingenergy for an hour today to personally explain the decision to customers.

German based E.on has, like the other power companies, blamed events in Japan and Libya for having a ‘dramatic’ effect on gas and power prices.

As a result its customers are to face increases of 11.4% for electricity and 18.1% for gas.

Comments on the social network included one from @weesteev who asked: “How can you raise my prices and say I can fix my tariff at only an extra 5p per Electric Unit? Where’s my incentive to stay?”

And from @thech1ef who told Mr Bartlett: “I’m a customer who will be leaving u ASAP after today’s prices. When making huge profits how can u justify it.”

Mr Bartlett also published a letter explaining the rise to customers.

Replying to another customer Mr Bartlett explained he tried to put off price rise for as long as he could.

He said: “We put off raising prices for as long as we can, over time energy suppliers face similar pressures from wholesale costs.”

Earlier he had commented that the energy sector had a long way to go to get customers trust back: “It’s a long road, this conversation on twitter is all part of gaining that trust.”

In statement put out before the twitter chat Mr Bartlett, said: “I know that this is hard for customers and we want to help them avoid future price volatility, which is why we’ve launched our new two-year fixed price deal.

“With offers like this – and by guaranteeing no further increases in our Age UK Energy prices for at least a year – we’re able to give our customers some certainty in what are very uncertain times.

“And those uncertain times have had a huge effect on wholesale prices, with events in Japan and Libya all having a dramatic effect on gas and power prices in a relatively short period of time.”

Luke Walsh

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