ScottishPower has its gas prices by an average of 2% and its electricity bills by an average of 8.9%.
The rises come in the wake of rises from British Gas and Scottish and Southern Energy and a price freeze from EDF. Of the UK’s ‘big six’ providers, that just leaves EON and npower to lay their hands.
The Scottish Power increases come into effect on Thursday (November 25) and will affect 2.5m households in the UK. The company says a further 600,000 households will be protected from the increases as they are currently supplied on a fixed or capped price energy deal.
Raymond Jack, ScottishPower’s director of energy retail, said: “We understand that times are difficult for many people, and we have done all that we can to keep energy prices as low as possible for as long as possible. Over the last two years our energy prices to customers have decreased and we are committed to being fair to customers and offering value for money over the longer term.
“The change in prices announced today is as a result of sustained increases in the wholesale energy market. The rising burden of non-energy costs faced by Britain’s energy suppliers, including the cost of meeting government environmental and social programmes and the cost of distributing electricity on the national grid, has also placed further upward pressure on energy bills.”
But Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: “ScottishPower has joined the growing ranks of energy suppliers serving customers up with an inflation-busting pre-Christmas price hike. ScottishPower will be hitting customers over the winter months when energy usage is at a peak. The increase may be moderate, but the timing is miserable.”
She added that of the six major suppliers, “there is a glimmer of hope that the remaining two suppliers will freeze their prices, buying their customers some time. All eyes will now be on them to see which way they will jump and, more importantly, when.”