Npower to increase energy prices by more than 10% in another blow to consumers

 

Npower this morning became the third of the Big Six energy giants to hike the cost of bills - but by considerably more than their rivals.

The company is raising gas prices by 11.1 per cent and electricity by 9.3 per cent to give some 3.1 million customers a December shock when their bills arrive.

On Thursday British Gas announced a 9.2 per cent increase, while the previous week SSE said it will raise prices by 8.2 per cent in November.

This morning’s announcement means that in total more than 17 million households will now see their energy bills rise between November and December, and three more of the energy giants – EDF, E.on and Scottish Power - have yet to announce increases.

Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare, said: “The floodgates have been well and truly opened, and with Npower’s price rise now confirmed, we’re half way towards a full-house of price rises from the big six energy providers.”

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said: "With three of the big six energy suppliers hiking their prices, consumers will be going into winter with heavy hearts and lighter wallets. The fear is that even more will feel forced to turn down and switch off in an attempt to keep their energy bills under control. This type of sacrifice is unpalatable at the best of times, but intolerable if we experience a real winter freeze.

“As energy becomes less and less affordable, the more we will see people rationing and going cold. The knock-on cost in misery and the potential impact on health and well-being could be immense. Consumers are paying a steep price for the fact that successive governments have failed to put affordability at the heart of energy policy.”

Last week, the energy giants came under criticism after independent supplier Co-operative Energy said it was take on half the extra costs itself, presenting customers with a 4.5 per cent rise in January.

The mutual’s boss Ramsay Dunning, told The Independent: “The profitability level we require is less than, for instance, British Gas’s 5 per cent.”

Today Paul Massara, chief executive at RWE npower, defended the firm against accusations that it is profiteering: “We only aim to make around 5 pence in every pound in our retail business which we feel is a fair return for delivering reliable energy to consumers and for the risks that we bear.”

He said the company is doing what it can to reduce external influences on energy bills. “I know that any increases to household bills are always unwelcome, and this is not a decision that we have taken lightly,” he added.

But MP John Robertson, who sits on the Energy select committee said: “The CEO has come out all guns blazing, saying they only make 5 per cent profit. But he is trying to pull the wool over our eyes and make us forget about the shady shuffling of money around the company. Profits went up by 25 per centlast year and it is clear Npower is simply taking advantage of customers and ripping them off.”

“It’s another week, another price rise – we have three more inevitable price rises to go. The energy barons are being left to run riot and need breaking up as a matter of urgency. Ofgem and the Government need to get a grip on this, so people do not have to choose between heating and eating this winter.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?