Npower has announced it is increasing fuel prices by up to 17.2 per cent – its third price hike this year.
The increases come into effect at the start of next month and the energy giant blamed the move on rising wholesale costs.
Its 6.3 million UK customers will face average price increases of 9.9 per cent for electricity and 17.2 per cent for gas.
The announcement, just days after the latest British Gas increases came into force, will mean average increases of £92 a year for gas users and £36 for electricity customers.
In March Npower put up gas prices by 15 per cent and electricity by and 13.4 per cent. This followed its price rises of 13.6 per cent for electricity and 14.5 per cent for gas in January.
Kevin Miles, Managing Director of Npower Residential, said: ‘Again we are the last of the major energy suppliers to raise our prices – Npower customers pay lower prices for longer. As in the past, we’re protecting our customers from the full impact of the increases in wholesale energy costs.’
‘Every effort is being made to help our customers through the coming winter. We have spent almost £40 million this year helping 1.7 million homes with energy efficiency measures – and have laid around 2,000 kilometres of loft insulation, specially targeting vulnerable customers.’
Consumer group Energywatch said successive Npower price hikes meant the firm’s customers were paying on average 88 per cent more for gas and 59 per cent more for electricity than they were in 2003.
Its Chief Executive, Allan Asher, said: ‘There is still no end to the relentless price hikes by energy companies and the effects of such high prices are growing month by month. Millions of consumers are in fuel poverty, customer bills are doubling, and we will all be paying the price through inflationary pressure on the wider economy.’
Which? runs its own impartial energy price comparison site – Switch with Which? – where you can check which supplier offers the best deal for your gas and electricity.