Co-operative Energy has become the latest utilities provider to announce it will increase its prices this autumn, following in the footsteps of the so-called ‘big six’.
The company - which has 14,000 customers across the UK - is to hike gas prices by 18 per cent and electricity by 11 per cent from November 3, citing rising wholesale and distribution costs as well as investment in renewable energy. Business development manager Nigel Mason apologised to consumers.
“The last thing we want to do is put up our prices and we have held off for as long as we possibly could, but unfortunately we are affected by the same pressures as the rest of the energy industry,” he said. “We're working hard to do everything we can to support our customers through this winter.”
The announcement came after shadow business minister Gareth Thomas – chairman of the Co-operative Party – accused energy secretary Chris Huhne of “sitting on his hands” and doing little to restrict soaring gas and electricity costs.
In a speech to the party’s conference on Tuesday, Labour leader Ed Miliband also hinted at plans to boost competition in the energy market to ensure a fair deal for householders.