Powergen to raise prices again

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The Independent Online

Powergen, the UK electricity and gas provider, announced its third set of price rises in less than two months yesterday, unveiling an 8.9 per cent increase in electricity prices and a 9.6 per cent rise in its gas prices.

Powergen, the UK electricity and gas provider, announced its third set of price rises in less than two months yesterday, unveiling an 8.9 per cent increase in electricity prices and a 9.6 per cent rise in its gas prices.

The move means that, combined with its previous recent price rises, an average customer who receives both their gas and electricity from Powergen will see their annual bill increase by about £133, according to SimplySwitch.com, the price comparison website.

Powergen blamed the latest increases on the "unparalleled rises in wholesale costs which are affecting all energy suppliers". It said its wholesale costs have soared by 39 per cent and 49 per cent for electricity and gas over the past six months.

In an attempt to soften the blow, the company said it would plough about £8m into a new programme to give financial assistance to up to half a million of its "most vulnerable customers". The package will include the offer of free cavity wall insulation for customers aged over 60, free benefits entitlement checks - to ensure elderly customers are claiming their winter fuel allowance - and an exemption from the rises until the end of winter for all Age Concern Energy Services customers. Powergen said it would also halve the additional charge for all prepayment customers. The rises will come into force from 29 November.

Nick Horler, the managing director of Powergen Retail, said: "This price rise is not a step we've taken lightly."

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