SSE has announced plans to raise its gas and electricity prices for dual fuel customers on its standard variable tariff by an average of 6.7 per cent, starting on 11 July.

The supplier blamed the price hike, which equates to an extra £76 on the typical annual bill, on growing wholesale and policy costs. It will also remove its paperless billing discount of £6 per fuel per year.

Gas prices will increase by an average of 5.7 per cent and electricity prices by 7.7 per cent. The figures refer to customers paying by direct debit and are based on Ofgem’s typical household consumption profile of 12,000 KWh of gas and 3,100 kWh of electricity.

The increase will affect 2.36 million customers who are supplied by SSE and M&S Energy.

“We deeply regret having to raise prices and have worked hard to withstand the increasing costs that are largely outside our control by reducing our own internal costs,” said SSE Energy Services chief commercial officer Stephen Forbes.

“However, as we’ve seen with recent adjustments to Ofgem’s price caps, the cost of supplying energy is increasing and this ultimately impacts the prices we’re able to offer customers.”

He continued: “Policies such as those that support low-carbon forms of electricity generation and the national roll-out of smart meters offer benefits for customers in the long term, but require significant up-front investments which are funded through energy bills.

“SSE Energy Services continues to believe that these policies should instead be funded more fairly through means-tested general taxation.”

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy described the increase as “extremely disheartening”.

“Today’s price hike risks hitting those who can least afford it,” she added. “We know that those stuck on poor value standard variable tariffs are often the elderly, people with mental health problems and those on low incomes.”

Peter Earl, head of energy at Comparethemarket.com, commented: “The last to join the big six price hike party, SSE may be hoping that this gets lost amongst all of the other hikes.

“However, with the company announcing last week that it lost 430,000 customers in the past year, it is clear that people are realising that many tariffs offered by these energy giants are fundamentally bad value.”

In March, Eon became the first of the big six to announce an increase in energy bills in 2018. The supplier kept prices the same but removed a series of discounts, which it said were worth an average of £22 per year for standard variable customers.

In April, British Gas and Scottish Power both revealed 5.5 per cent price bumps, whilst EDF announced an increase of 1.4 per cent. Earlier this month, Npower said it would boost its prices up by 5.3 per cent.

Aurora Energy Research has warned that growing policy costs will leave Ofgem with “little choice” but to repeatedly raise price caps in future. The regulator recently revealed that the proposed market-wide cap on default tariffs will come into effect in December.

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