ScottishPower has followed the lead of British Gas, npower and SSE and blamed a combination of rising wholesale costs, higher distribution charges and government subsidies for the increase.
The change in prices will be implemented as of 6 December and, according to ScottishPower’s press release, will result in an increase of £113 per year on the average dual fuel bill.
The below table shows the average bill for a medium user* before and after the announced price rises.
Average household energy bills:
|Supplier||Current bill size||New bill size|
ScottishPower CEO: ‘No other option’
Neil Clitheroe, ScottishPower’s CEO of Energy Retail and Generation, said “The cost of purchasing and delivering energy to homes across Britain has risen significantly this year. With an increase in costs for delivering compulsory schemes to reduce carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency in homes, we unfortunately have no other option than to pass these on by increasing our prices for customers.
“We understand that these are difficult times for many families, and we have done what we can to hold our prices for as long as possible. Recently we announced a range of measures to help our most vulnerable customers this winter. We will now write to every customer who will be impacted by the price increase, and we would encourage anyone who is concerned to contact us so we can discuss their options.”
One supplier has pledged to freeze prices this winter
The rise means that EDF and E.ON remain the only two of the big six energy suppliers in the UK not to announce a price rise. This does not, however, mean that the latter won’t hike gas and electricity prices, in fact both are expected to announce a rise as we get closer to winter.
The largest independent supplier in the UK, First Utility, is the only energy provider to have pledged not to increase prices this winter. The company also recently launched its “Fight the Power” campaign which calls on energy suppliers to shorten the length of time it takes to change energy provider.
Consumers to be ‘buffeted by suppliers in very quick succession’
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch said: “Unfortunately, the floodgates have opened and it looks like consumers are going to be buffeted by suppliers in very quick succession. The danger is that these hikes are sweeping households towards a cliff edge – when bills hit £1,500 a year this will be the tipping point where many will have no choice but to go without heating. This will have a serious impact on health and well-being.
“I would urge consumers to sit up and take action. If these price hikes are going to be a deal-breaker for you then I would urge you to look at one of the competitive fixed price tariffs currently available which can help you to freeze your prices for anything up to four winters. And rather than switch your heating off or take chances with your health by going cold, think about making your home energy efficient instead. If cost is a problem, look at the Government’s Green Deal scheme or speak to your supplier.
“Using less energy and paying less for what you do use are everyone’s best protection against the high cost of energy today.”
*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 or cheque, with bill sizes averaged across all regions