The Chancellor has urged energy companies to reconsider their price hikes, in an interview with ITV News.
Households across Britain could be plunged into a "long, cold winter" after two major energy suppliers increased their prices today.
British Gas has confirmed they are putting their energy prices up for this winter by an average of six percent.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said the Government's Energy bill will give regulator Ofgem more powers to improve the markets and will be the biggest shake-up of the industry since privatisation.
– Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister
We are also rolling out the Green Deal this winter. This is the biggest ever energy efficiency programme, that will help millions improve their homes so they are better insulated.
We have also brought in the Warm Home Discount, which will provide an extra £130 for two million of the most vulnerable households this winter.
We're reluctantly announcing a price increase - an average of 8.8% for gas and 9.1% for electricity. This will take effect on 26th Nov. ^ZoeFrom @npowerhq on Twitter:
Energy provider npower has followed British Gas and announced a rise in its prices by 8.8% for gas and 9.1% for electricity.
Steve Hawkes, The Sun's Business Editor, has tweeted that energy provider npower is expected to follow British Gas and announce a hike in prices.
Here we go: Npower to up gas/elec bills this afternoon. And im hearing higher than 6pc..From @steve_hawkes on Twitter:
– Unite general secretary Len McCluskey
Money from the poor is going to the pockets of Centrica shareholders. This is further shameful abuse by out of control, greedy fuel companies, sitting on piles of profit.
Alongside the Government's punish the poor strategy, millions of households will be forced further and further down the path to poverty.
It is high time that the Government intervened to take back from these grasping companies. Why is it that when wholesale fuel prices go up, these companies take from customers, yet, when wholesale prices go down, they still take from customers?
– Mike Jeram of Unison
It will be a long, cold winter for many pensioners, the unemployed and for low paid workers and their families.
Just days ago we learnt that the cost of fruit and vegetables have gone up by a massive 50% in the last year. Any increase in energy prices is likely to tip more families into debt and into the hands of unscrupulous pay-day loan companies...This is a crisis in the making and the Government needs to tackle fuel poverty head-on or we will see the number of deaths from cold rising over the winter.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said the price increase by British Gas would leave many households facing a winter where they are "scared to turn on heating for fear of the cost".
The energy minister Greg Barker and his Labour shadow Tom Greatrex have argued over Twitter about the issue of energy prices:
Energy minister Greg Barker has told Daybreak that 'there are no easy answers' to lowering gas prices.
– Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy
Many British Gas customers will find the possibility of a price rise really frightening.
Bill increases throw already stretched budgets into turmoil - with people forced to find more ways to scrimp and save.
But there are things that people can do to save money on their fuel bills.