Gas and electricity Updated:
Npower has just announced plans to increase its dual-fuel energy bills by as much as 10.4%, with changes due to come into effect from 1st December.
It's the third major energy supplier to announce a price hike over the last few days. Both SSE and British Gas have announced price rises of 8.2% and 9.2% respectively whilst smaller supplier Co-operative Energy pledged a slighter rise of 4.5%, making npower's announcement the highest increase by any supplier so far.
The average 10.4% rise is made up of a 9.3% increase to electricity and a whopping 11.1% rise to the cost of gas, which will see average dual-fuel bills rise by around £137 per year.
The changes will affect approximately 2 million households at a time when many are already feeling the pinch, with yet another pre-winter price hike set to test the purse strings even more.
Paul Massara, CEO of npower, said the price rise wasn't a decision they'd taken lightly. As with other suppliers the main drivers behind the increase are said to be things out of their control – namely the increase in costs of delivering energy to customers' homes, of Government levies and of buying the raw materials in the first place, with Massara stressing that the company only makes about 5% profit.
"We only aim to make around 5 pence in every pound (5%) in our retail business which we feel is a fair return for delivering reliable energy to consumers and for the risks that we bear," said Massara.
The Prime Minister has branded the increase as "disappointing" and has urged consumers to shop around for a cheaper tariff, whilst industry watchdogs have said it's more important to lock into a fixed deal to prevent being hit by future rises.
E.ON, EDF and Scottish Power are the last remaining big six suppliers still to announce a price rise, but with the domino effect in full swing insiders say it's only a matter of time before they follow suit.
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