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Another 4.9m hit by energy price increase

BRITISH Gas and Scottish Power have become the latest ‘big six’ suppliers to raise the cost of their standard variable tariff to match Ofgem’s price cap.

A combined total of 4.9million customers will see bills rise to an average of £1,254 after the ten per cent increase from April 1. Prepay meter accounts face a nine per cent rise.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com, said: ‘Eight million households already know they’ll be part of possibly the largest energy price rise ever on a single day when the new cap kicks in on April 1. With more suppliers expected to raise their prices, over half the energy customers in Britain could affected.’

Alex Neill, of Which?, added: ‘While there are fewer cheap deals on the market than a year ago, energy customers can still save almost £300 a year by switching to secure a better deal before the April hike.’

E.ON, EDF and npower announced last week they would be raising their prices to match the new cap.

Ofgem has said those affected would still pay a ‘fair price’ for their energy as the increase reflects a genuine rise in underlying wholesale costs.

British Gas, the UK’s biggest energy supplier with four million customers, said last month it intended to adjust its standard variable tariff. Scottish Power’s move will affect 900,000.