Scottish and Southern last of the big six to raise prices

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The Independent Online

Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) has raised its gas and electricity prices by 15.8 per cent and 14.2 per cent respectively. The last of the UK's big six power companies to take such action, SSE laid the blame for the hike – as all its competitors have done – on soaring wholesale energy prices.

Tim Wolfenden from comparison website said the rise had been on the cards for some time: "It should come as no surprise to their customers that bills are increasing, as where others lead, it was sure to follow."

Mr Wolfenden added that the SSE's decision would raise the annual average bills of its electricity customers by £50 and those paying for gas by £85. Customers who get both electricity and gas from SSE can expect to pay more than £1,000 a year on average.

And further pain could be on the way for consumers, Mr Wolfenden added.

"Consumers cannot afford to breathe a sigh of relief yet – the way the market is looking at the moment, we can expect a second round of energy price hikes, which could add up to 10 per cent or £105 to household bills.

"Increases in the cost of gas on the forward market will make further price rises inevitable before the end of the year. The industry has margins to protect and shareholders to satisfy."

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