Whilst it is holding its gas prices unchanged, this still amounts to an average increase of 6.9% for the typical dual-fuel consumer.
The company blamed the increase in rising costs – and in particular the higher costs it has to charge to pay to for updating Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure and help the country move towards a low carbon future – which are levied predominantly against electricity customers.
But the near 15% hike in electricity prices has ‘shocked’ chiefs at Energy Action Scotland, the national fuel-poverty charity.
Elizabeth Gore, Deputy Director, said: “Having had a string of energy companies increase their prices recently, it was almost inevitable that others would follow.
“Many customers would have been fervently hoping that SSE would buck the trend and not announce price rises, however, the announcement today of electricity price increases of around 14.9 per cent will undoubtedly come as a shock, despite a hold on gas prices.
“For customers already struggling to afford basic bills such as energy, this price increase will have a real impact.
“Households reliant on electric heating will be particularly worried about the effect this price increase will have on their ability to afford to keep warm at home and to run basic appliances such as a washing machine and fridge.
“There needs to be more transparency in general about why energy prices rise and fall so that government and others can design policies that have least impact on those who can least afford it.”
Will Morris, SSE’s Managing Director for Retail, commented: “We know that any increase can add extra pressure on customers’ bills so we’re launching a £5million fund to provide assistance to those who are struggling with their bills, in addition to the existing £46m that SSE already spends helping customers through the Warm Home Discount.”
Four of the other Big Six British energy suppliers have already announced inflation-busting price rises this year:
- Scottish Power’s standard electricity prices will increase by an average of 10.8% and gas by 4.7% on 31 March.
- Npower is raising its standard tariff electricity prices by 15% from 16 March, and gas prices by 4.8%
- EDF Energy cut its gas prices by 5.2% in January, but its electricity prices rose by 8.4% on 1 March.
- E.On is increasing electricity prices by an average of 13.8%, and gas prices by 3.8%, on 26 April