Npower puts up energy prices 10 per cent before Christmas
Gas and electricity firm announces highest hike by an energy company so far this year
ENERGY firm Npower has announced an average 10.4 per cent rise in its prices – the highest hike by an energy supplier so far this year.
From 1 December around 3.1 million Npower customers will face a price increase of 9.3 per cent for their electricity and 11.1 per cent for gas. This means a standard annual bill will rise by £141 to £1,493, says the Daily Telegraph.
It is the third major supplier to announce a price rise this autumn. SSE will increase prices by 8.2 per cent from 15 November and British Gas prices will go up by 9.2 per cent from 23 November.
Npower has admitted that the announcement is unlikely to go down well with customers but blamed the increase on the cost of delivering energy to homes, raw materials and government levies.
"I know that any increases to household bills are always unwelcome, and this is not a decision that we have taken lightly," said Paul Massara, chief executive of Npower. "We will continue to take steps where we can to reduce the impact of the external influences on energy bills."
The company said that it aimed to make a profit of five pence for every pound, which it regarded as a "fair return" for its reliable service and the risks it has to take on.
Last year the 'Big Six' – which also includes EDF Energy, E.On and Scottish Power – outlined price rises of between 6 per cent and 10.8 per cent.
The announcement comes amid much political debate about the cost of household bills. Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged a 20-month price freeze if his party wins the next election. But Prime Minister David Cameron has branded the plan as a "con", saying Miliband would not have control over the worldwide price of gas.
Similarly, Npower's chief executive said that the Labour proposal was "superficially attractive" but would not lead to lower sustainable prices because it does not cut the growing cost of supplying energy. ·