Energy firm to raise prices by 9 per cent

Hard-up consumers will be hit by higher energy bills this autumn after Scottish & Southern Energy yesterday announced increases of 9 per cent – adding £119 to the average dual-fuel deal.

The company admitted that the move would push more people into fuel poverty – defined as when their energy bills account for 10 per cent or more of their available income.The price hikes will hit SSE's 8.4 million customers from 15 October. But analysts warned the other Big Six energy suppliers will follow suit.

SSE supplies electricity to 5 million homes and gas to 3.4 million. The rise will force the average household bill for a dual-fuel SSE customer up from £1,235 to £1,354 a year, according to uSwitch.

SSE increased its prices in December 2010 and September 2011 by 21.9 per cent, or £227 in total. It did cut them in March, but by just 2.4 per cent, or £30.

"The move is a blow to consumers as it paves the way for other suppliers to increase their prices too," said Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.

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