EDF Energy to raise its prices on 2 March

The brief lull in energy price rises has been brought to an end by EDF Energy.

The firm, which supplies 3.3 million homes with gas and electricity, said that it would be raising the price of gas by 6.5 per cent and electricity by 7.5 per cent from 2 March.

The move means customers on a standard tariff with average usage will see an increase of £73 a year in bills at a time of higher VAT and petrol prices.

The move by EDF was roundly condemned for heaping more pain on consumers: "Customers will be rapidly losing faith in an industry which is charging them more while reaping huge profits, and will be anxious for the Ofgem review to clarify how escalating costs can be managed to help protect them at a time when their finances are being squeezed from all angles," said Lisa Greenfield, an energy analyst at the price-comparison site Confused.com.

"In the short term, those looking for price security may want to consider a fixed rate tariff," Ms Greenfield said. In addition: "Those opting for online tariffs continue to secure better deals, so those who haven't reviewed their providers recently may find now an appropriate time to consider making the switch."

Ofgem announced its inquiry into energy pricing in November. Its findings are expected next month.