Good Energy to hold electricity price but increase gas charges
Renewable power supplier Good Energy has announced it will cap electricity prices until 2012 - but admitted gas costs will increase.
The move, which freezes electricity prices until at least 2012, goes against a recent spate of price hikes by the 'Big Six' energy firms which have infuriated energy minister Chris Huhne.
However, Good Energy, which supplies around 26,000 UK homes, will have to put up the prices of its combined electricity and gas tariff as the gas is not sourced from renewables and is subject to the same international markets as its 'Big Six' competitors.
But, prize freezing should make good sense for Good energy as its electricity tariffs are, on average, more expensive than the traditional suppliers with customers signing up because of the sustainability agenda rather than cost factors.
Data from uswitch.com, which offers impartial comparisons on energy prices, lists a Good Energy electricity only contract as costing £537 for a year if paid by monthly direct debit for a home in the London area.
Compared to traditional suppliers where costs range from £396 to £469 and slightly more than rival green energy giant Ecotricity which has two electricity only tariffs at £479 and £498.
Good Energy introduced its combined gas and electricity tariff due to customer demand, but a spokeswoman explained it was not currently 'cost effective' to offer gas from sources like Anaerobic Digestion (AD).
Instead, its customers pay a 'small additional amount' towards Good Energy's own Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) called HotRocs, which it introduced before the Government's scheme.
The plan promotes solar thermal panels on customers' homes to support the growth of renewables and reduce the UK reliance on fossil fuels for heating.
Gas prices for Good Energy customers will increase by 9.4% from September 6, which is also the first increase since it entered the gas market in November 2008.
Good Energy founder and chief executive, Juliet Davenport, said: "We've been able to hold our prices partly due to improvements in our weather forecasting techniques enhancing our ability to trade renewable electricity more efficiently.
"And because of the investments we've made in developing new sources of green energy such as our wind farm in Cornwall.
"Good Energy is proof decentralised energy can provide the UK with resilience against price volatility caused by relying on energy imported from abroad."