Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned that energy companies risk "exhausting" public confidence if they keep raising bills.
Speaking on The Agenda with Tom Bradby, he said:
– deputy prime minister nick clegg
In any developed capitalist economy you can't operate in a vacuum ... Profit is what drives a lot of these things but you can't operate without public consent ...
I think they do need to be very careful that they don't sort of exhaust public consent and confidence that they're doing the right thing by these very, very significant price hikes.
Watch The Agenda on ITV at 10.35pm tonight
"Another day, another 10% price rise, and we've got a Prime Minister who's standing up for the energy companies, not hard-pressed families," said Labour leader Ed Miliband today.
"That's why we need Labour's price freeze."
He said Britain needs to "reform a broken market that is in the grip of the big six energy companies."
According to npower's figures, using Ofgem consumption statistics, bills will increase by the following numbers:
- Monthly direct debit: £139 per year (£2.66 per week)
- Receipt of bill: £139 (£2.66)
- Pay as you go: £133 (£2.56)
- Average: £137 (£2.63)
Last week: British Gas prices up 9.2%
An npower statement explained:
The main drivers behind the rise are increases in delivering energy to homes, fulfilling government schemes and the raw materials we use to generate energy.
Paul Massara, npower CEO, said:
I know that any increases to household bills are always unwelcome, and this is not a decision that we have taken lightly.
We will continue to take steps where we can to reduce the impact of the external influences on energy bills.
We only aim to make around 5 pence in every pound (5%) in our retail business which we feel is a fair return for delivering reliable energy to consumers and for the risks that we bear.
Energy firm npower have announced an energy price increase of 10.4% from December 1st.