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19 November 2010

•    Gas prices to increase by an average of 2%, electricity prices increase by an average of 8.9%
•    Customers will see an annual average increase to a Dual Fuel energy bill of £54
•    The increases will affect 2.5m households across Britain
ScottishPower today announced increases in its standard domestic gas and electricity prices effective from 25th November 2010. Prices for gas customers will increase by an average of 2% and electricity bills by an average of 8.9%. The increase will affect 2.5 million households.     
The company has started to notify customers of the price change, which will add approximately £1 to the weekly cost of energy for a dual fuel customer paying monthly by Direct Debit. It is the first time in over two years that ScottishPower has announced a rise in energy prices, and follows a 26% increase in the cost of wholesale energy for an average Dual Fuel customer since the company reduced its prices in March this year.

Following recently announced price changes by British Gas and Scottish & Southern Energy, ScottishPower’s standard combined Gas and Electricity offer will be cheaper than those offered by both companies, for customers who pay monthly by Direct Debit.

Around 600,000 (20%) of the households supplied by ScottishPower will be protected from the increases as they are currently supplied on a Fixed or Capped Price energy deal. The company will also protect 60,000 of its most vulnerable customers through the winter period by holding prices on its Fresh Start package at current levels until 31st March 2011. This product supports existing ScottishPower customers who are over 60 years old and on qualifying state benefits with a discount of up to £395 per annum on standard rates. 
Raymond Jack, ScottishPower's Director of Energy Retail, said: "We understand that times are difficult for many people, and we have done all that we can to keep energy prices as low as possible for as long as possible. Over the last two years our energy prices to customers have decreased and we are committed to being fair to customers and offering value for money over the longer term.
"The change in prices announced today is as a result of sustained increases in the wholesale energy market, with the wholesale costs for an average Dual Fuel customer up 26% since 31st March 2010. The rising burden of non-energy costs faced by Britain’s energy suppliers, including the cost of meeting government environmental and social programs and the cost of distributing electricity on the national grid, has also placed further upward pressure on energy bills."
ScottishPower also encouraged customers to contact them to find out what help they could provide to reduce their bills this winter.
Raymond Jack said: "There are a number of ways that we can help lower energy bills this winter. For example our customers could save up to £358 per year by making simple changes to the way they pay for their energy, switching to paper-free online billing and selecting one of our fixed term energy products. Similarly taking up one of our offers for discounted home insulation, boiler cover or energy efficiency products could help customers save even more. We would advise any customer who wants to discuss their options to call us."
In recent years the company has invested millions of pounds in helping to improve the energy efficiency of homes across Britain and in March 2010 ScottishPower was identified as the supplier most advanced in delivering against its energy efficiency obligations. Over the period 2008 to 2012 ScottishPower expects to invest around £390m in improving energy efficiency under the UK Government's Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Program (CESP). Since 2008 ScottishPower has installed insulation measures in 523,000 homes across Britain, 178,000 of which directly benefitted vulnerable customers, saving them an estimated £23.5m annually on their energy bills.

ScottishPower also recently outlined a major investment programme in Britain over the next two years, in order to modernise infrastructure and help to reduce carbon emissions. £4bn will be spent developing renewable energy projects, implementing smart grid technology and enhancing the electricity network.

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