SSE joins Big Six rivals by putting up energy prices
30th May 2018 | Residential Energy
Britain’s second largest energy supplier has joined its rivals in raising bills for almost seven million homes after a winter of wholesale price spikes. The typical dual fuel bill for SSE’s 2.3 million customers on standard energy tariffs will rise by about £76 a year from July.
The increase is due to a 5.6 per cent increase in SSE’s standard gas tariffs and a 7.7 per cent rise for electricity. Stephen Forbes, SSE’s chief commercial officer, said its bosses “deeply regret” the price rise and had “worked hard” to withstand costs that are outside of their control by reducing their own internal costs.
“However, as we’ve seen with recent adjustments of Ofgem’s price caps, the cost of supplying energy is increasing and this ultimately impacts the prices we’re able to offer customers,” he said.
The hike was widely expected following similar moves from SSE’s Big Six rivals British Gas, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, Eon UK and Npower in the wake of dramatic price spikes on the energy markets.
Energy market prices jumped to six-year highs in March as freezing temperatures drove demand for gas-heating higher. In addition to the rising price of wholesale energy, SSE blamed its “last resort” measure on “the cost of delivering Government policy initiatives designed to modernise and decarbonise Britain’s energy system.”
By pointing to the Government’s own policies as a principal cause of the hike SSE has reignited a war of words between ministers and energy companies.
SSE has consistently argued that Government’s policy costs – which include support for new energy projects and updating critical national infrastructure – should be paid for via general taxation rather than through bills, which can disproportionately affect lower income households.
Energy minister Claire Perry branded the hike “unjustified” and “extremely disappointing.” Energy regulator Ofgem was forced to lift the level of its standard energy tariff cap, which is in place for socially vulnerable energy customers.
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