Electricity bills go up for 2.5m homes

The energy firm Scottish Power is raising gas and elecricity prices by an average of 2 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively. The new charges, which will affect 2.5 million households, will take effect on 25 November, adding about £54 to the average annual dual-fuel energy bill.

The announcement follows a move last Friday by British Gas to increase gas and electricity tariffs by an average of 7 per cent as wholesale costs creep up. Scottish Power, which is owned by the Spanish group Iberdrola, said wholesale prices had risen by 26 per cent per dual-fuel customer since March, when it reduced prices.

Consumer Focus said wholesale prices are still around half their 2008 levels, despite summer increases. Scottish Power was the last of the "big six" to cut gas tariffs earlier this year.

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