Npower announced today it is to increase gas and electricity prices by 15.7% and 7.2% respectively from 1 October 2011, despite having announced growing profits for the first half of 2011.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: ‘This price hike will make consumers yet again question what’s happening in our energy market, especially as Npower’s parent company has just announced a 130% increase in profits for the first half of 2011. Given such healthy results, people are bound to wonder why their domestic bills have to go up this much.’
Npower is the fifth of the ‘big six’ energy companies to raise their prices this summer, with only EDF Energy holding back so far on raising bills for consumers.
Which? research shows that rising energy prices are consumers’ number one financial concern. Check your energy options and see if you can find a better deal with Which? Switch, the independent, not-for-profit energy comparison service.
Previous Npower price hikes
In December 2010 Npower announced hikes of 5% for both gas and electricity. The rises this month dwarf the last set of Npower price rises.
Richard Lloyd pointed out that these rises will pile even more pressure on consumers, making it more difficult for them to save money on energy bills in the increasingly difficult climate.
He said: ‘The Bank of England has predicted that rising utility bills will drive inflation to 5% by the end of the year, which will put more pressure on already squeezed households. It’s critical that Npower and all suppliers do more to help customers cut their energy bills – whether that’s by getting onto the cheapest tariff or making their homes more energy efficient.’
Energy price rise season
Npower is the fifth of the big six to announce its price increases over the summer.
Back in June, Scottish Power was the first of the major energy companies to announce it would be increasing gas prices by 19% and electricity charges by 10% from 1 August.
Earlier this month, British Gas said it would be raising gas prices by 18% and electricity prices by 16% from 18 August. They were followed by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) on 21 July, and Eon raised their prices on the 5 August.
Honesty on energy prices
Which? is currently calling for energy companies to make energy tariffs clearer and more transparent. With simple tariffs, even if wholesale prices do increase, customers can more easily compare prices and switch energy providers.
We’re also asking the government to help increase competition in the energy market. By clearing the way for new suppliers, the government could increase competition and potentially help drive improvements in services and lower prices.