Npower slaps its customers with big hike in energy bills

UTILITY group npower is raising household energy bills by 12.2 per cent from October, putting increased pressure on consumer spending already dampened by the rising cost of living.

The utility said the increases, which work out to 37p extra per day for dual-fuel customers, were due to volatile trading conditions in wholesale energy markets compounded by diminishing production from ageing North Sea gas fields.

Scottish & Southern, E.ON and Centrica have all hiked their retail prices in recent months.

“We are now forced to buy energy on the volatile global wholesale market,” according to Kevin Miles, RWE npower chief commercial officer.

“World events have pushed up prices, and we believe this trend will continue,” he added.

Consumer watchdog groups lashed out the latest round of price increases as a darkening economic backdrop continues to squeeze household budgets.

“Customers didn’t feel much benefit when wholesale costs were low but have seen prices rocket when costs have gone up,” said Adam Scorer, director of external affairs at Consumer Focus.