Response to the news today (13 March) that SSE is increasing its standard electricity prices but holding its gas prices for domestic customers

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FOR IMMEDIATE USE
ISSUED DATE: 13 March 2017

Response to the news today (13 March) that SSE is increasing its standard electricity prices but holding its gas prices for domestic customers

Elizabeth Gore, Deputy Director of the national fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland said:

“Having had a string of energy companies increase their prices recently, it was almost inevitable that others would follow and today SSE has increased its prices for electricity.

“Many customers would have been fervently hoping that SSE would buck the trend and not announce price rises, however, the announcement today of electricity price increases of around 14.9 per cent will undoubtedly come as a shock, despite a hold on gas prices.

“For customers already struggling to afford basic bills such as energy, this price increase will have a real impact.

“Households reliant on electric heating will be particularly worried about the effect this price increase will have on their ability to afford to keep warm at home and to run basic appliances such as a washing machine and fridge.

“There needs to be more transparency in general about why energy prices rise and fall so that government and others can design policies that have least impact on those who can least afford it.

“Once again the volatilities of the energy market highlight the importance of having supports in place to assist the most vulnerable and these include cross-industry initiatives such as the Warm Home Discount. The news today that SSE will open a new £5 million fund to support customers who may be most affected by this price increase is also welcome and will make a practical difference to these customers.

“We would always encourage customers to contact their supplier if they are experiencing difficulties with their energy bills. Customers should ask their energy supplier if they could make savings by moving to a different tariff or payment method. In addition, it’s worth shopping around to check the best deals available that suit customers’ own circumstances.”

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For further information contact:

Elizabeth Gore, Deputy Director, Energy Action Scotland on email: e.gore@eas.org.uk or tel: 0141 226 3064

Background information:

1. Energy Action Scotland is the national charity which campaigns to end fuel poverty and works to promote warm, dry homes for all. Website: www.eas.org.uk

2. There are currently around 748,000 households (30.7 per cent) in fuel poverty in Scotland (source: Scottish House Condition Survey).

3. Fuel poverty is the inability to afford adequate warmth in the home, defined as needing to pay more than 10 per cent of income on energy costs.

4. The main causes of fuel poverty are poor energy efficiency of the home, high domestic fuel prices and low household income.