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E.ON raises British energy prices

German energy giant E.ON has become the latest firm to unveil inflation-busting price rises for gas and electricity customers in Britain.

The company, which used to be called Powergen, said gas prices were going up by 15% and electricity by 9.7%. The changes will affect nearly five million customers.

E.ON's announcement follows other large price hikes this year by four other energy firms - British Gas, Scottish Power, Npower and EDF.

E.ON, which has a total of 5.5 million customers, said 550,000 on fixed price deals would be unaffected by the rises. It added that the hikes would be delayed until April 1 for 670,000 “vulnerable” customers.

The firm blamed the increases, which had been widely expected, on rising wholesale energy costs. They have gone up by 60% over the past year, it said.

E.ON managing director Graham Bartlett said: “We realize the impact this price increase will have on our customers and we're doing everything we can to minimize this. Our announcement has been made in response to sustained pressures from the wholesale market.”

A customer's average annual dual fuel will go up from £913 to £1,031 as a rsult of the rises.

E.ON's gas prices are rising by a flat 15% across the UK. The electricity price rises average out at 9.7% but are subject to regional variation, with customers in the East Midlands facing hikes of 12.1% and those in the South West of England 11.5%. Households in Yorkshire will see electricity bills go up by 4.8%, with a rise of 6.2% in the West Midlands and 7.5% in the South East.

The variation is because E.ON is charged varying amounts by power networks to distribute its electricity. (ukpress)