British major gas, power supplier to raise energy price by 5.3 pct

Npower hikes energy bills for 1m customers

Npower has become the latest Big Six supply firm to announce a price hike, squaring the increase exclusively on growing policy costs and wholesale prices.

The group is to increase typical annual dual fuel bills by 5.3%, or £64, across all payment types from June 17.

Npower has become the latest energy provider to announce price hikes, which will affect around one million customers. "The costs all large and medium energy suppliers are facing - particularly wholesale and policy costs which are largely outside our control - have unfortunately been on the rise for some time and we need to reflect these in our prices", he added.

Managing director of domestic markets Simon Stacey said the decision "wasn't taken lightly".

Innogy-owned Npower's price rise means customers on its dual fuel tariff who pay by direct debit will have an average energy bill of around 1,230 pounds ($1,664) a year.

Npower said that more than 60% of its customers - such as those on fixed tariffs or using prepayment meters - would not be affected by the change.

Wholesale costs have indeed risen in the past year.

The energy price increase is made up of an average rise of 4.4% on gas and 6.2% on electricity.

The government has said British energy prices are a "rip-off" after it emerged household bills have doubled over the last decade, despite a series of market liberalisation reforms.

She added that vulnerable customers such as the elderly and those with mental health problems were among those least likely to have switched away from standard tariffs onto fixed price deals.

The Government also plans to impose a price cap on costly energy products.

The increase is on par with those announced by British Gas and ScottishPower, but Npower's standard tariff was already the most expensive by a big supplier.

It follows the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) initial investigation, which found the deal could reduce competition, potentially leading to higher energy prices for some consumers. The message is clear - ignore all the price rise announcements, take matters into your own hands and switch today'.