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The State of the Big Six: EDF Energy

EDF Energy is an integrated energy firm subsidiary to the French state-owned EDF (Electricité de France) belonging to the Big Six energy suppliers in the UK. Created in 2003, it claims to produce the most substantial amount of low-carbon electricity in the industry today.

Here is the current status of EDF energy in the market, including details on its supply, prices, customer rating, and more.

EDF Energy: An Overview

As a member of the Big Six, EDF Energy boasts the most significant electricity supply by volume in Great Britain. It has 35 wind farms (including two offshore) and eight nuclear power plants generating energy for its customer base.

EDF currently has a domestic electricity market share of 11%, holding steady since 2018, and an 8% market share on the gas side. It serves around 5.7 million customers and supplies around a fifth of electricity in the UK. It has three central business units, namely nuclear generation, new nuclear build and energy sourcing and customer supply.

Out of 35 energy suppliers, ED Energy ranks 27th on the annual customer survey conducted by Which?, sharing ranks with British Gas. It has an overall customer score of 60% from 7, 355 respondents.

Around 72.07% of the EDF’s energy supply comes from nuclear sources, aligning with its commitment to investing in low-carbon, affordable and reliable energy. Other sources from the firm’s fuel mix include renewables (11.73%), natural gas (10.84%), coal (5.2%) and other fuels at 0.16%.

EDF Energy is fairly rated on bill clarity and accuracy, digital tools, and customer service. The company received a stellar score for complaints handling, being the only 4-star rating it received on the survey. The firm is noted to answer phone calls faster than average at around 3 minutes 2 seconds based on a Which? investigation back in September 2019. It also had an average of 1 minute 10 seconds for its live chat response.

However, EDF customers gave the company only two stars for its value for money. While it has some cheaper deals, these tariffs aren’t anywhere near the most affordable on the market. EDF’s out-of-contract tariff is level to the maximum price cap set by the energy regulator Ofgem. 2019. It also had an average of 1 minute 10 seconds for its live chat response.

The most recent penalty EDF received from the regulator was its failure to reach the target of installing smart meters for its customers in 2017. The ruling was served in June 2018, enforcing the company to pay £350,000. In 2014, Citizen Advice fined EDF for failure to address complaints amounting to £3 million. Two years before that, they paid £4.5 million in redress to Ofgem for mis-selling energy plans.

Since 2018, EDF has announced two price increases and a price drop just recently. The first price rise was published in April 2018 and took effect two months after. The 1.4% increase in its standard variable tariff (SVT) earned a £16 hike per year. In February 2019, the rise in price cap to £1,254 prompted EDF to increase its price by 10%.

Ofgem revised the energy price cap in the second half of 2019, to which EDF responded with a price drop of 6% for its SVT customers in August 2019. From October 2019, the average price for the EDF Energy SVT is £1,177.

Key Points to Consider for Home Users

The customer services hotline for EDF Energy is 0333 200 5100. Complaints and inquiries may also be addressed via the company’s Live Chat button on its website.

EDF offers multiple payment channels for its customers. They can set up a direct debit, wherein the lowest unit rate of every payment method applies. The company also accepts bank payments addressed to EDF Energy Customers Ltd or by the 24-hour automated payment service hotline 0333 200 5108. Customers can also opt to pay via cheque or cash at the Post Office, Payzone or PayPoint locations near them.

For customers struggling to pay their bills in full, EDF recommends contacting a support representative to discuss eligibility for the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund. The company also offers other ways to help clients manage their bills through several partner institutions.
Free gas safety checks are available for customers of pensionable age, disabled or with a chronic illness, and those with a child under five years of age.

Key Points to Consider for Business Customers

For business customers, bills can reflect different VAT rates. EDF explains that this rate depends on energy consumption. Supplies expending more than 33 units or 145 kWh per day will receive the standard VAT rate. Otherwise, a reduced VAT will be charged.

If an account holder takes ahold of an estimated bill that they feel is far from the accurate reading, they are encouraged to contact the EDF business team at 0333 200 5103 to clarify the meter reading and amend the account. The same number can be used for inquiries regarding cancelled existing estimated bills as soon as an accurate meter reading is done.

EDF offers an off-peak/night rate or Economy 7, which depends on the meter used and location of the business. The low night rate for 7 hours can be availed from 12:00 am to 8:00 am.