Scottish Power is set to charge over two million households substantially more for their gas and electricity.
The firm is set to increase the cost of gas by 19 per cent and the cost of electricity by 10 per cent as of August 1st 2011. The company points to rising costs in wholesale energy costs for the rises, the usual line given by energy companies when price rises are announced.
The increases could make energy cost as much as 50p more per day for dual-fuel customers.
Audrey Gallacher, head of energy at Consumer Focus, said: ‘”This huge increase will be a body blow for consumers and we fear other firms will follow Scottish Power's lead. Companies have been softening customers up for price rises for months but customers will shocked at the scale of this rise. We know suppliers like the comfort of the pack and that price rises come in waves. Every household in the country will now be bracing themselves for impact.
"It’s ironic this announcement comes exactly when the regulator is deciding whether energy firms are serious about treating consumers properly and if energy prices are fair,” she continued.
“Ofgem has put the ‘big six’ energy companies in the dock, saying suppliers have been quicker to raise prices than to cut them and are bamboozling consumers with complex tariffs. Scottish Power itself is under investigation by the regulator for unfair pricing and misselling."
She concluded: “Suppliers say they have no choice when costs go up, but no-one else really knows if energy prices are fair. When this affects the cost of keeping warm and well, it is not an acceptable state of affairs. Energy suppliers are in a deep, deep hole on consumer trust. Now would be a good time for Scottish Power and the others to stop digging deeper and show that they understand what their customers want - fair pricing, fair selling and fair treatment.”