Three and a half years since its last price rise, the group on Monday said that the 6.9 per cent dual fuel increase will mean a typical domestic customer will pay on average £73 a year more, which equates to around £1.40 per week, as a result of an average 14.9 per cent increase in electricity prices.
“The price change reflects the increasing cost of supplying electricity, and specifically higher costs associated with delivering vital government programmes designed to upgrade Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure and help the country move towards a low carbon future,” SSE said in a statement. “These costs are levied predominantly against electricity customers.”
SSE said it sought to protect customers “as much as possible” and was the first major supplier to commit to holding prices until at least April 2017.
Will Morris, managing director for retail at SSE, said that the group “deeply regret having to raise electricity prices”.
“This is the first increase since 2013 and we’ve worked hard to keep them down for as long as possible by cutting our own costs, putting in place a winter price freeze and holding gas prices, but we have seen significant increases in electricity costs which are outside our control,” he said.
“Without an increase we would have been supplying electricity to domestic customers at a loss,” he added.
The company is the last of the big six energy suppliers to announce price changes this year.
Last week, E.On announced customers will pay an extra £97 a year on energy bills.
The company’s 8.8 per cent price rise for customers from the end of next month is one of the highest increase among several announced recently by rivals, including a 9.8 per cent rise by npower, 7.8 per cent by Scottish Power and 1.2 per cent by EDF.
British Gas bucked the trend by keeping its gas and electricity prices on hold until August.
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Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “We now have a true level playing field for comparison, as SSE is the last of the big six firms to announce its pricing intentions.
“Five have announced hikes, and British Gas is freezing prices until August, and will, I suspect, increase prices then.
“And the picture is grim – everyone on a standard tariff from the big six, including British Gas, is being ripped off. A typical SSE customer will see their bills jump from £1,068 to £1,129 a year, pretty similar to the rest of the firms after hikes.