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SSE joins Big Six rivals by putting up energy prices

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 2.3m customers on standard energy tariffs will rise by around ?76 a year from July.
The increase is due to a 5.6pc increase in SSE’s standard gas tariffs and a 7.7pc 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 to 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, E.On UK and Npower in the wake of dramatic price spikes on the energy markets.
SSE joins Big Six rivals by putting up energy prices

SSE is the last of the Big Six energy suppliers to raise prices after a winter of market price spikes

Credit:
PA
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.
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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.
The cap contributed to a fall in SSE’s adjusted pre-tax profits of 6pc to ?1.45bn in the year ending on March 31. At the same time almost half a million customers fled the supplier, causing its domestic accounts to fall from 7.23 million to 6.8 million.
energy price cap or price con?
The Government hopes to pass legislation that widens the Ofgem cap across all homes on standard variable tariffs by the end of the year.
“Eleven million households are already paying far more for their energy than they need to which is why we took the unprecedented step of introducing legislation to put a cap on prices for those on the most expensive default tariffs," said Ms Perry.
"It is extremely disappointing that SSE has decided to announce this unjustified price rise – the highest yet from the Big Six - ahead of the new law coming into effect later this year," she added.
By the time the Government's price cap is in place SSE expects to have spun off off its energy supply arm into a new listed energy company that will be merged with Npower. The move should help protect SSE’s position as a major network operator and energy generator.
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