Five of the big six energy suppliers have announced 5%-10% price hikes to their standard tariffs (lots of smaller firms have hiked rates too). The only one left is EDF Energy. It has promised a "freeze to keep you warm, until 1 March 2011". So when will EDF join the latest price rise round and boost its gas and electricity prices?
This is far more art than science. But for a bit of fun let’s try to second guess the corporate decision, the whys, the spins and the wherefores. Of course, no one should be waiting for the rise to switch gas & electricity. The savings from dropping from a standard tariff to an online tariff are likely to far outweigh any price freeze gains.
Anyway, here are a few light predictions of mine to start.
- It will increase prices. I’d be gobsmacked if it didn’t. The other companies have done so. EDF’s remit is to make money from shareholders its gained by the competitive advantage of holding off, meaning its built market share. It’ll need to capitalise on that soon. There is a chance it will hold for a month or two so the hold looks more real (so it doesn’t end on the pre-announced minimum guaranteed date).
- The announcement will be on a Friday. This has become the common day for gas and electricity companies to make announcements, so every Friday we keep our eyes out. I can’t see any reason for this to be different.
- The rise WON’T hit on 1 March. Even if it hikes prices quickly, to do it on 1 March would be bad PR. After all, it is open to accusations that its marketing was just a long term advanced price rise announcement. So by holding it back even a few days it can separate the price freeze from the hike.
- The rise won’t be huge. EDF did a small 2.6% electricity price rise last October (see MSE EDF News) which at the time was seen as a ‘tariff tidy up’ rather than a full blown hike. Yet it hasn’t reacted since the other companies put their prices up. So when the rise comes, I suspect it’ll be on the low side.
So here goes. I’m going to guess it’ll make the announcement on Friday 19 February, saying prices will go up 7% gas and 2% electricity on Friday 11 March. No idea how close I’ll be.
Now your turnâ€¦.
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