npower will join British Gas and SSE and become the third of the big six to implement a winter price rise. EDF Energy and ScottishPower have also announced price rises and E.ON is expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.
The hike will see the average dual fuel npower customer pay £1,491 a year – up from £1,352. The German owned energy supplier first announced that it would be raising prices on the 21 October.
Removal of green levies could lead to lower bills
npower has, however, stated that it will lower its price hike to 6% if the government decides to cut green subsidies on energy bills.
French supplier EDF Energy has already taken into account the removal of green levies and consequently raised its prices by 3.9% – less than half the level of the rest of the big six.
Average household energy bills
|Supplier||January 2004||Pre-price rise bill size||New bill size*|
Based on a medium user consuming 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas on a standard dual fuel tariff, paying quarterly by cash and cheque, with bill sizes averaged across all regions. *This doesn’t factor in any potential reduction as a result of a future Government announcement regarding levies on energy bills.** E.ON hasn’t announced a price increase.
‘A step closer to hitting an affordability ceiling’
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said: “Each successive price hike is taking us a step closer to hitting an affordability ceiling. When energy bills hit £1,500 a year almost four in ten households (36%) will be forced to turn their heating off entirely, which has serious implications for quality of life and health.
“With affordability at crisis point, any reduction to bills will be welcome. But to ensure that all households feel the benefit I would urge the Government to be clear and precise in what cuts it is expecting. There can be no room for misinterpretation or manoeuvre. And I would urge suppliers to step up to the plate by passing the cuts on in full and across all tariffs. This will be vital if we are to keep confidence in the market growing.
“However, there’s no reason why consumers should rely on the Government alone to help reduce bills. Even a £50 or £75 reduction in levies will still leave the majority facing a higher bill this winter. Consumers can protect themselves by making sure they are on a competitive tariff and using energy efficiency measures to reduce the amount of energy they use. These two steps will help to protect you this winter and for many more to come.”