Energy price hike a ‘body blow for consumers’ - Gas and electricity - News - Moneyfacts


Energy price hike a ‘body blow for consumers’

Energy price hike a ‘body blow for consumers’

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 13/07/2011
First Published: 08/06/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Scottish Power's announcement that it is to increase the cost of gas by 19% and the cost of electricity by 10% has been labelled a 'body blow for consumers'.

The increase will affect 2.4 million homes and is set to come into force from 1 August.

The hike has been blamed on the rising cost of wholesale prices.

The consumer watchdog Consumer Focus said the huge increase will be a body blow for consumers and it fears other energy firms could follow suit.

Companies have been softening customers up for price rises for months but customers will be shocked at the scale of this rise," said Audrey Gallacher, head of energy at Consumer Focus.

"We know suppliers like the comfort of the pack and that price rises come in waves. Every household in the country will now be bracing themselves for impact."

Scottish Power's announcement comes as the energy regulator Ofgem is deciding whether energy prices from the big six in the industry are fair.

In addition, Scottish Power is being investigated for unfair pricing and mis-selling.

All of the UK 's major energy companies increased their prices over the winter, citing rapidly increasing wholesale prices.

"Energy suppliers are in a deep, deep hole on consumer trust," added Ms Gallacher.

Scottish Power has defended the increase and says that 700,000 customers will be sheltered from the cost rises as they are on capped or fixed price tariffs.

"Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have increased significantly since the end of last year and continuing unrest in global energy markets means future prices are volatile," Raymond Jack, Scottish Power's UK retail director, said.

"We understand times are difficult for many people, and we have done what we can to absorb these additional costs for as long as possible to minimise the impact on our customers."

Compare gas & electric prices

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

Related Articles

British Gas freezes standard energy tariffs

British Gas has announced that it’s freezing its standard gas and electricity tariffs for the winter, ensuring that customers needn’t worry about price rises in the chilly months ahead. But is that enough to ensure households aren’t paying too much?

Living in a new home could cut fuel bills by half

Older homes will always be slightly more expensive to heat, with less insulation and sneaky draughts making these character-filled homes harder to heat efficiently. But did you know just how much more this could cost you? It could be double…

Standard energy tariffs are “fundamentally unfair”

We all know how expensive energy bills can be, particularly at this time of year when we’re all turning the thermostat up a notch. But what if you’re paying even more than you should be? If you’re on a standard tariff, that’s a very real possibility.