The energy company First Utility has announced that it will be increasing the prices of its duel fuel tariff by more than 18% from June 1. This will add £200 to the average bill for their customers. It is thought that the move, in conjunction with other increases by smaller energy suppliers, could lead to further increases by the Big Six.

Increasing costs

Customers of First Utility who are currently on their iSave v12 tariff will automatically be moved on to their more expensive iSave Everyday tariff. Around 18% of their customers will be affected by the move which the company blames on increasing costs including those associated with government schemes and wholesale increases.

Until this announcement First Utility was seen as a good alternative to the Big Six as they consistently undercut the prices on offer by the larger suppliers. This fact has meant that they have many more customers than might have been the case. It is thought that those customers may now feel they were misled. The company has also been beset by customer service complaints due to billing issues.

Best value energy

First Utility insist that even with the 18% increase, customers will still be paying less than they would be with one of the larger suppliers. Darren Braham from the company says that they had chosen to delay price increases for as long as possible because of the long winter, whereas the Big Six all announced price rises at a time when energy costs were at their highest.

Braham also says that the company remains committed to delivering the best value energy for its customers and this is backed up by their Price Promise which guarantees standard prices which are lower than those of the Big Six.

The First Utility increase comes on the heels of increases by two other smaller energy companies, Ovo Energy and Co-operative who added around 9% to their bills earlier this year. This has fuelled speculation that further increases by the Big Six could be on the cards.