SSE has become the first of the Big Six energy suppliers to announce an increase in energy bills this winter.
The company said household gas and electricity tariffs would rise by an average of 8.2%, kicking in from November 15th.
The price hikes will add around £2 per week to the average annual standard dual fuel bill, bringing the total to £1,224. It will affect around 4.4 million electricity and 2.9 million gas customers, excluding those on fixed energy tariffs.
Customers in the North of England and central Scotland will see the smallest increase of 7% in their dual fuel tariff while customers in the South East of England will see the biggest at 9.7%.
The supplier blamed the decision on costs “outside its direct control” and said 85% of the bill is made up of buying energy (50%), network charges for delivering energy to a customer’s home (25%) and mandatory Government schemes (10%).
SSE last announced a price rise a year ago. Today it has pledged not to raise them again before autumn 2014.
Will Morris, Group Managing Director for Retail said: “We’re sorry we have to do this. We’ve done as much as we could to keep prices down but the reality is that buying wholesale energy in global markets, delivering it to customers’ homes and government-imposed levies collected through bills – endorsed by all the major parties – all cost more than they did last year.”
The announcement has predictably outraged consumer groups.