12 December 2010

Npower puts gas and electricity prices up inflation-busting 5%

Npower puts gas and electricity prices up inflation-busting 5% ENERGY giant Npower yesterday announced an inflation-busting price hike – leaving customers facing a £62 New Year headache.Gas and electricity prices will rise by 5% for existing consumers from January 4, while new clients are hit straight away.

The move, affecting 6.3 million users, will see an average dual-fuel bill leap from £1,196 to £1,258 a year.

Npower is the fourth big supplier to announce a winter bill increase, with the German-owned firm insisting it was forced to pass on higher costs, including a 50% jump in wholesale costs.

Yet its profits hit £220million last year and the Mirror revealed yesterday that energy firms are cashing in on the big freeze with gas demand soaring 25%. Industry regulator Ofgem is launching an investigation into rip-off claims as suppliers’ profits have soared 40% since autumn.

Audrey Gallacher, of watchdog Consumer Focus, said: “Customers will have been bracing themselves for this bad news but that won’t make them any less worried about affording their bills.”

3The price of petrol has soared to a record high, the AA said yesterday. The average price is now 121.76p a litre, beating the previous record of 121.61p.

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