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ScottishPower hikes energy bills for second time

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Nearly a million ScottishPower customers on its standard variable tariff will see bills rise by an average of £46 a year.

The energy giant said 900,000 customers on its default tariff (a third of its customer base) will see an average increase of 3.7% on dual fuel bills from 8 October.

For those who pay by direct debit, annual bills will rise from £1,211 to £1,257, but for those who pay by quarterly credit, they will see bills rise to £1,357 from £1,311.

This is the second time ScottishPower has hiked bills, after last raising them by an average of £63 in April this year.

It said the move comes as wholesale energy costs have risen by 23% for electricity and 25% for gas since April.

Neil Clitheroe, CEO retail, said: “We have seen significant increases in wholesale energy costs since April, and like others in the industry, this means that we need to increase our prices.

“More than two-thirds of our customers are on fixed price products or other tariffs not impacted by this price change. Those customers affected by the price change will be contacted and offered the opportunity to move to a fixed price tariff alternative and avoid this increase.”

‘Could get worse before it gets better’

Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, said this is the sixth month in a row when a ‘Big Six’ supplier has announced a price rise.

“Traditionally these rises were always bunched together at the beginning or end of the year, but the changing nature of the wholesale market means the price of energy is going up all the time and suppliers now feel the need to reflect this in their bills.

“With the energy price cap just around the corner, it could well get worse before it gets better for consumers. Ofgem recently gave a clear indication of increasing costs when it lifted the safeguard tariff by £47, so it’s inevitable that even after the price cap is introduced standard tariffs will still be among the most expensive and definitely higher than when the cap was first proposed by the government in May last year.”

Murray added that customers on a standard variable tariff should switch to save £250 annually.

“Don’t wait for prices to go up again – take action today,” he said.

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