First is was SSE. Then it was British Gas and npower. Today Scottish Power has announced a hike in their gas and electricity prices from December. It comes after the energy giant was found guilty of mis-selling energy tariffs earlier in the week and slapped with a £8.5 million fine by industry regulator Ofgem.
Now the fourth big energy supplier to hit customers with price increases just in time for winter, from December 6 Scottish Power dual fuel bills will climb by 8.6%. A customer’s average annual dual fuel bill will increase by £113 as a result of the tariff hike. Individual electricity prices will go up by 9% and gas by 8.5%.
However, if you live in certain areas of Scotland the price increase won’t be quite so steep, at 7.3%. Customers in Southern England will face the biggest increase, with their bills rising by an average of 10.2%. The company says around 2.2. million of its customers will be affected.
Just as British Gas, npower and SSE claimed before them, Scottish Power blames delivery costs and an increase in the price of wholesale energy. It said the Government’s green and social schemes affected bills, and were another factor in their decision to raise their energy tariffs. Neil Clitheroe, chief executive of energy retail and generation for Scottish Power, said “we unfortunately have no other option than to pass these on by increasing our prices for customers.”
Scottish Power will be writing to customers whose bills will go up because of the tariff increase to discuss their options going forward.
In other news, the energy giant has been found guilty of misleading telephone and doorstep selling. On Monday they were hit with a £8.5 million penalty for a catalogue of errors which occured from 2009 to 2012, due to what Ofgem has described as a failure to “adequately train and monitor” its staff. Customers who believe they have been mis-sold an energy tariff may be eligible for compensation. Scottish Power has established a £1 million compensation fund for those affected.
In light of the latest round of energy hikes, bosses from the ‘Big Six’ have been called before MP’s to give evidence at next week’s Energy and Climate Change Committee.
If you’re concerned about escalating energy bills, look into switching your energy provider and tariff, ideally to one which is fixed for a specific period. You might even be eligible for a Government boiler, central heating and insulation grant. Replacement condensing boilers and loft and cavity wall insulation can be installed for free as part of the Government’s ECO free boiler scheme.