Scottish and Southern Energy to raise energy prices
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is the third major energy company to announce a price hike, raising gas prices by 18% and electricity by 11% from 14 September.
The price hike will equate to an additional £171 a year on a typical dual fuel customer's energy bill. The move follows recent price increases by Scottish Power and British Gas.
The increases are set to affect around 5.2m SSE electricity customers and 3.6m of its gas customers.
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Energy price rise season
It appears that energy price hike season is well under way - SSE is the third of the 'big six' energy companies to have announced a price rise since June. We expect Npower, EDF Energy and Eon to follow suit before the end of the summer.
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 will raise gas prices by 18% and electricity prices by 16% from 18 August.
Beat rising energy costs
To minimise the blow of rising energy prices, we think customers have two choices: fix energy prices now, or wait until all the companies have announced price increases before switching to the cheapest available energy deal.
Not sure which option is right for you? See our energy price rise Q&A for a full breakdown of your options.
Scottish and Southern Energy price rise
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says: 'This is the third price hike from one of the 'big six' in less than two months. With average dual fuel bills hitting £1,265 a year, many customers who are already struggling with the rising cost of living could be forced to cut back on essentials.
'The increase will put SSE's average bills at their highest ever level, and it's only a matter of time before the remaining energy companies follow suit and announce similar hikes.
SSE says it will not increase its prices again before August 2012 'at the earliest'. It blamed rising wholesale energy costs, along with operational and environmental obligations for the price hike. In May 2011, the company posted pre-tax profits of around 1.3bn - up 29% on last year.
Switching can help you save
Using an energy comparison service such as Which? Switch means you can see which alternative energy deals are available, and how much you could potentially save by moving to a different supplier or tariff.
If you've never switched or haven't switched for a long time, you will almost certainly save money - for first-time switchers, savings of more than £250 a year are possible.