Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has become the third energy company to announce price hikes this month as it reveals it will increase prices by up to 18%.
The provider will up its prices for electricity by 11% and gas by 18% on 14 September.
Around 5.2 million households are predicted to be affected by SSE’s latest hike in electricity prices, while 3.6 million are likely to be hit by the increase in gas prices.
Following the rise SSE customers will see another £171 added to the average cost of a yearly bill, according to moneysupermarket.com.
SSE is the third of the ‘Big Six’ energy providers to announce increases to their energy prices in recent weeks. Its move follows recent price hikes by Southern Electric and British Gas.
SSE partly blames rising wholesale prices for forcing prices higher.
Scott Byrom, energy channel manager at moneysupermarket.com, says:
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"Today's announcement from SSE comes as no surprise and consumers now need to get on the front foot and switch to the best fixed priced energy tariff for their usage level and area they live in, in order to protect against further increases.
"It is only a matter of time before we see the remaining energy providers will follow suit," he adds.
Also commenting on SSE’s announcement, Lisa Greenfield, energy analyst at confused.com, says:
"These price rises are particularly worrying following the DECC's finding that 5.5 million households were considered to be in fuel poverty in 2009. This figure is going to be much higher by the end of 2011."
SSE pledges that it will not be increasing prices again until 1 August 2012 at the earliest.
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