Swalec, the energy provider, has announced an increase in prices for household electricity and gas. The company is the third of its kind to announce rate increases since June with the blame being put on wholesale price increases. The increases for household electricity will be about 11% with household gas increasing by 18% come September.
Consumer Focus Wales indicated that this hike will put many more thousands of people to fuel poverty. Swalec said the price changes reflect hikes in both energy unit prices and fixed charges.
They last increased prices of electricity in August 2008 and prices of gas in December of 2010 and said no other increases would take place until at least August 1, 2012. It noted that any sustained decrease in wholesale energy costs would mean household prices would fall as well.
This increase is going to lead to even more pressure for consumers who are struggling desperately to just try and meet the ever increasing bills particularly those who have fixed incomes like pensioners.
The changes will affect approximately 5 million electricity customer and about 3.5 million gas customers throughout Britain. With over a million affected in Wales alone. Based in part on the typical consumption for household gas, that was adopted by Ofgem in 2010 and the typical amount of electricity that household use the new fuel bill will be more than £1260 compared to £1094.
The company said in a Thursday statement that there were three things pushing up the prices the cost of using energy networks to distribute and transport gas and electricity to the home which is 14% higher than a year ago. Second the cost of mandatory social and environmental schemes, the wholesale cost of electricity has risen 23% with gas increasing by 40%.