The UK's two leading green energy providers, Good Energy and Ecotricity, have today announced that they will freeze their prices over the winter months, confirming their customers will face no increases in tariffs until the end of March next year at the earliest.
Ecotricity had previously said it would not increase prices for its electricity and gas tariffs until at least the New Year and today it announced it was extending its price freeze until at least 1 April next year.
Good Energy similarly pledged to hold its current electricity and gas prices until the end of March 2014, arguing that the majority of its external costs would not rise until 1 April.
Both companies are currently expanding fast and provide customers with 100 per cent green power, limiting their exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices. They are also yet to reach the customer threshold that qualifies them for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) energy efficiency scheme, meaning they are exempt from some of the policy costs faced by the so-called Big Six energy companies.
"We told our customers earlier this month that we were reviewing our prices and can now confirm that we will not be raising them over the winter," said Juliet Davenport OBE, Good Energy founder and chief executive, in a statement. "This announcement gives our customers the certainty they need to plan their energy budgets.
"As a renewable electricity company, Good Energy offers something different to the bigger energy companies. Our customers choose us because we are an ethical business offering 100 per cent renewably sourced electricity, award-winning customer service and reasonable prices."
Dale Vince, founder and chief executive of Ecotricity, said that increased investment in renewable energy sources offered the most effective long-term means of curbing rising energy prices.
"The Big Six are increasing prices by up to 10 per cent just before winter, the government is playing politics by blaming 'green taxes' and the regulator has not been strong enough ever," he said. "If we continue the way we are now, we're going to see energy bills increase significantly over the next decade – we could even see them double. There is another way – our model of using our customer energy bills to build new sources of green energy, what we call bills into mills. It's working for our customers, and it's a model we think is right for Britain. We're not just making greener energy, we're making cheaper energy – and we're demonstrating how that works now by freezing prices until the end of winter."
He added that the company's investment programme meant it now produced around 40 per cent of its electricity from its own green sources. "The more we build the better able we are to shield our customers from price hikes that come with a reliance on the fossil fuel market," he said. "That's the way Britain has to go, because only energy independence can properly tackle rising fuel bills."
In related news, Co-operative Energy today launched two new fixed-price tariffs: a one-year fixed-price tariff until 31 March 2015 and a two-year fixed-price tariff until 31 March 2016.