E.ON energy price rises ‘will hit electric heating users most’
National fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland has warned that households that rely on electric heating will be hit particularly hard by plans by E.ON to increase its standard electricity prices by an average of 13.8%.
The energy giant said its standard electricity prices will increase by an average of 13.8% and standard gas prices will rise by an average of 3.8% from April 26 “due in large part to increasing policy costs and other costs it doesn’t control”.
Around 2.5 million of E.ON’s residential customers - 62% - will “potentially” see an increase if they take no action before April 26, the company said.
The announcement follows a spate of energy price rises in recent months.
Already ScottishPower has said it is increasing its standard electricity prices by an average of 10.8%, EDF has increased its electricity prices by 8.4%, and npower will raise its standard electricity prices by 15%.
Meanwhile gas price increases are around the 4.5% mark.
According to Scottish Government figures, 12 per cent of Scottish households (284,000) rely on electricity as their main source of heating.
Many of these households are likely to be off the gas grid and so will have a more limited choice of heating types.
Often properties in rural areas have no access to mains gas. Figures show that 16 per cent of Scottish households are off the gas grid and of these, 63 per cent are in rural areas.
Norman Kerr, director of Energy Action Scotland, said: “For people struggling to make ends meet, any prices rises for basic necessities such as domestic energy will hurt. However, the increases we are seeing now of around 11 to 15 per cent for electricity will really bite.
“The price increases in electricity for those households reliant on electric heating will have a big impact. This gives a strong message to the government that more effort is needed to assist households with limited access to heating or fuel types such as those off the gas grid. Rural areas continue to need particular assistance to reduce levels of fuel poverty and the overall cost of living.
“We would encourage customers to find out from their energy supplier if they could make savings by moving to a different tariff or payment method. In addition, it’s worth shopping around to check the best deals available that suit customers’ own circumstances.”