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Npower follows British Gas with price rise

Npower became the third big energy provider to raise prices today, adding £9 a month to its customers’ average bills.
The company followed hard on the heels of British Gas, who announced earlier in the day that its customers will see prices rise by 6pc from November. The Npower rise is even greater – 9.1pc for electricity and 8.8pc for gas. The company has three million customers.

This leaves E. On, EDF and Scottish Power yet to hike prices. However, experts said that they would soon follow suit. Clare Francis, consumer finance expert at said: “Following confirmation from British Gas this morning that energy prices are to increase by six per cent next month, it has taken npower no time at all to follow with a price rise of 8.pc for gas and 9.1pc for electricity. The message for energy customers can’t be any clearer, fix your bills now as there is only one way energy bills are going, and that’s up.”

Watchdog Consumer Focus said that the move would “reinforce the views and prejudices of consumers – whether justified or not – about a lack of transparency and competitiveness in the market”. Customers who wish to switch to a new deal, particularly one with fixed prices, should be aware that they can move from their supplier after a price rise is announced and before it is implemented under supply licence condition 23 without paying an exit fee. Suppliers have obligations to write to customers at least 30 days in advance if they intend to increase the charges or make other changes to a contract that would leaves the customer significantly worse off. In these circumstances, if a customer is on a fixed-term deal they can switch without having to pay an exit fee provided they notify their supplier on or before the date the increase or change is due to come into effect.

Date: 12/10/2012
Author: Rosie Murray-West

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