Energy and Climate Change minister reacts to energy price rises

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Energy and Climate Change minister Greg Barker has branded the recent prices rises implemented by some of the UK's biggest suppliers as "very unwelcome."

Mr Barker was speaking following the announcements that nPower and British Gas would both be hiking gas and electricity prices this winter.

British Gas revealed on Friday (October 12) that its gas and electricity prices would go up by six per cent; nPower also stated, on the same day, that its electricity would go up by 9.1 per cent and gas by 8.8 per cent.

Commenting on the decisions of the two suppliers, Mr Barker, stated: "This is very unwelcome and I know lots of families who are struggling to balance their budgets will be very disappointed and concerned by these price rises. That's why Government is taking action on a number of fronts: short-term measures to help people struggling with bills this winter, long-term measures to reform the market and bring in more competition.

"What we need is action. We are bringing in the Energy Bill this winter that will reform the markets, it will be the biggest shake-up since privatisation, in addition, we are giving extra teeth to the regulator Ofgem," he added.

The minister also took the time to highlight the Warm Home Discount Scheme, claiming that it will help around two million people with their energy bills this coming winter.

Since nPower and British Gas made their announcements, another supplier has followed suit. ScottishPower announced (October 15) an increase of seven per cent - which will come in to effect on December 3.

Meanwhile, SSE's planned price increase - announced earlier this year - has also been implemented.

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