Npower Blames Green Policies For ‘Shocking’ Rise In Energy Prices

  • Date: 03/02/17
  • BBC News

Npower has announced one of the largest price rises implemented by a “Big Six” energy supplier for years. The company will raise standard tariff electricity prices by 15% from 16 March, and gas prices by 4.8% and has blamed increases in wholesale energy costs, and the cost of delivering government policies such as smart meters and the renewables obligation.

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A typical dual fuel annual energy bill will rise by an average of 9.8%, or £109.

Ofgem said Npower would have to justify the decision to its customers. And Paul Massara, a former boss of the company, called the rises “shocking”.

Npower said the changes would only affect about half of its customers. The other half are on fixed-term deals and will see no price rise.

However, 1.4 million customers on existing standard tariffs will be offered a four-year fixed-price tariff with a 4.8% discount.

The rise in electricity prices is thought to be the largest since 2008, when some suppliers increased charges by up to 19%.

Some gas prices went up by a similar amount in 2011.

Justification

Npower blamed increases in wholesale energy costs, and the cost of delivering government policies such as smart meters and the renewables obligation.

However, two weeks ago the regulator, Ofgem, told suppliers they should absorb the costs of wholesale price rises by buying energy in advance.

In a statement on Friday, Ofgem said that wholesale costs had risen in the past year, after falling over the previous two to three years.

“However, we don’t see any case for significant price increases where suppliers have bought energy well in advance. Npower must therefore justify the decision to its customers,” a spokesperson said.

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