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NPower jacks up energy bills – even though profits double

Energy giant NPower sparked fury yesterday by jacking up bills 3.3 million customers – despite doubling its profits. The company announced plans to raise gas prices by 16% and charge 7% more for electricity after banking £307 million in the first half of the year.

The firm blamed rising wholesale prices for the increase which will add £134 to the average dual fuel bill, taking it to £1,289. Owned by Germany’s RWE, NPower is the fifth of the Big Six to announce price rises and bosses pointed out that the increase does not kick in until October 1.

Scottish Power raised its prices by up to 19% from the start of August and British Gas raising bills by 18% from tomorrow. Adam Scorer, a director at Consumer Focus, said: “Customers of NPower will have been dreading this.

“It will not come as a surprise but it will be a source of great frustration when profits are up. The increases are lower than the rest of the Big Six but they will still be hard to swallow for hard-pressed consumers.”

EDF is now the only one of the major suppliers – British Gas, E.ON, Scottish Power, NPower, and Scottish&Southern Energy – not to have announced price rises.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, warned: “ Very few cash-strapped British households will be escaping a double-digit increase to their energy bills this year.”

Kevin Miles, chief commercial officer at RWE NPower, said: “I know it hurts everyone when we put up prices and I wish we didn’t have to.” He added: “Although our half-year profits were better than last year they do not begin to match the billions we are investing in energy for the future.”

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/city-news/2011/08/17/npower-jacks-up-energy-bills-even-though-profits-double