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EDF set to leave gas prices on hold

The last few days have seen a number of headlines in the financial press in relation to energy companies and the unexpected reduction in both gas and electricity prices. However, EDF, the French owned energy provider, has today scuppered those hopes with the announcement that electricity prices will fall from 31 March (by an average of 8.8%) but gas prices will remain on hold for the time being.

The company has suggested that volatility in the gas wholesale market is the reason the prices in this area will not be reduced in the short term, although they will be reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis. The company has also been very quick to point out that its dual fuel package (gas and electricity) is cheaper than the British Gas equivalent in every region of the UK and for all payment methods. It is hoped that statements such as this will induce further competition into the sector even if there is short-term disappointment about the gas price.

On a medium to longer term basis, there are serious concerns that more and more people in the UK will be unable to cover their energy costs with more and more being forced to go looking for government handouts. This will place pressure not only on the government budget but in the long-term it could see recent price rises by the energy companies backfire on them.

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