Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 16:47 UK

Fuel price rises differ across UK

gas flame
Electricity supply has always been regionally priced in the UK

Customers of the major energy companies have different dual fuel bills depending on where they live in the UK.

EDF Energy and British Gas raised prices in recent days but some areas have seen bigger increases than others.

EDF customers in South Wales pay 94.47 more a year than those in the North West for the same energy usage, and British Gas also shows differences.

The companies say that transportation costs, accounting for about 14% of the average bill, differ across the UK.

For British Gas customers, the biggest difference is 31.23 a year when comparing direct debit paying customers in the Southern and South East areas.

The differences were highlighted when the two companies raised their prices within a week.

Highs and lows

On 25 July, EDF was the first of the big six energy companies to raise prices this summer when it raised gas prices by an average of 22% and electricity prices by 17% for domestic customers.

Our aim is to be as competitive as possible in each region
British Gas spokesman

Figures obtained by the BBC show that, following the changes, South Wales remained the area with the most expensive dual fuel EDF Energy bills. The South West and South Scotland was the next most pricey.

The cheapest areas are the North West, the Eastern region and Yorkshire.

On 30 July, British Gas announced it was raising gas prices by a record 35% and electricity prices by 9%.

The UK's biggest domestic energy supplier, which has 15.9 million customers, blamed "soaring wholesale energy prices".

For British Gas dual fuel customers, the Southern and Eastern areas are the most expensive. Those in the Southern area have seen a 30.8% price hike in the latest round of increases.

The former Seeboard area of the South East and Yorkshire are the cheapest.

Transport costs

A British Gas spokesman said that the maximum regional variation was plus or minus 2.7%.

gas flame
The other four energy companies are expected to raise prices

There were also regional differences in the price changes for customers who pay for gas and electricity separately, he said.

Electricity supply had always been regionally priced in the UK, based on the 14 old supply regions.

The British Gas spokesman said that regional gas pricing reflected the different transport and distribution charges applied by regulated local mains operators.

Basically, the closer customers are to a distribution point, the lower the cost, he said.

He added that British Gas previously averaged out these costs when it passed them on to customers, but now transport and distribution costs made up 14% of a gas bill, the company has decided to charge differently in each region.

"Our aim is to be as competitive as possible in each region," he said.

The other companies in the "big six" group of suppliers are expected to raise prices in the coming weeks.

BRITISH GAS REGIONAL PRICE VARIATIONS


% change

change

Before price rise

After price rise

Eastern
30.8% 294.78 955.90 1,250.68

East Midlands
27.8% 267.56 961.70 1,229.26

London
29.1% 278.91 957.21 1,236.12

ManWeb
27.6% 270.26 978.75 1,249.01

Midlands
28.6% 275.84 963.70 1,239.54

Northern
26.2% 258.38 985.92 1,244.30

Norweb
27.7% 269.68 975.06 1,244.74

Scottish Hydro
28.7% 276.44 962.23 1,238.67

Scottish Power
27.8% 268.97 965.94 1,234.91

Seeboard
29.7% 280.09 942.98 1,223.07

Southern
30.3% 291.94 962.36 1,254.30

Swalec
26.4% 259.13 981.96 1,241.09

Sweb
27.1% 266.73 983.60 1,250.33

Yorkshire
26.5% 257.07 968.97 1,226.04

EDF REGIONAL PRICE VARIATIONS


% change

change

Before price rise

After price rise

London
21.10% 206.56 981.07 1,187.63

South East
21.10% 204.86 970.71 1,175.57

South West
21.00% 211.34 1,008.42 1,219.76

North Scotland
21.00% 208.07 989.23 1,197.30

South Wales
21.00% 211.41 1,008.92 1,220.33

Southern
21.20% 202.50 956.91 1,159.41

Eastern
21.30% 197.73 929.04 1,126.77

East Midlands
21.20% 200.38 944.44 1,144.82

North West
21.30% 197.71 928.15 1,125.86

North East
21.30% 198.96 936.25 1,135.21

West Midlands
21.20% 200.04 942.39 1,142.43

Yorkshire
21.30% 198.84 934.83 1,133.67

North Wales
21.00% 207.75 987.03 1,194.78

South Scotland
21.00% 208.39 991.97 1,200.36

Average
21.10% 203.90 964.95 1,168.85



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