Energy provider 'forced' to increase prices

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One of the UK's leading energy providers has stated that it was "forced" to increase the cost of its tariffs.

ScottishPower has become the fourth of the UK's major suppliers to hike its prices in the first few weeks of 2008, upping its gas and electricity tariffs by an average of 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

The company has also introduced a new package of support measures for customers who may be hit hardest by the increases.

Willie MacDiarmid, ScottishPower's energy retail director, said that the firm had "worked hard" to protect its customers.

He said: "Our input costs are now at record levels, having increased by up to 97 per cent since February 2007.

"Like other energy providers, we are now forced to pass on some of these higher costs."

Since the start of 2008, British Gas, EDF Energy and npower have also increased the cost of their domestic gas and electricity tariffs.

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