SSE's Managing Director, who is due to face MPs later today, explains why customers are experiencing a 8.3 percent increase in their bills.
After SSE announces gas and electricity tariffs will prices will rise next month, other big energy firms refuse to rule out own price hikes.
Some tips on how to save money on your energy bills.
New electricity and gas price rises announced today show the need to freeze bills.
– Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary
This is clearly unwelcome news for customers of SSE. People should take the opportunity now to make sure they are on the best deal available to them.
Half of an average energy bill is made up of the wholesale cost of energy.
This far outweighs the proportion of a bill that goes to help vulnerable households with their bills and to cut energy waste, and to encourage investment in the new low-carbon energy generation we need to keep the lights on.
SSE’s own figures show that wholesale price rises have contributed more than policy costs to this price increase, as a share of the bill.
The 8.2% rise in SSE bills is "disappointing" but "for the company to justify", an energy minister has said.
Conservative Michael Fallon hoped "customers would look very carefully" at tariffs and think of switching if bills became unmanageable.
However, he hinted there would be no Government intervention and instead wanted to create more competition under the 2013 Energy Bill, which is already making its way through Parliament.
SSE, which has around 10 million customer accounts, blamed the increased cost of buying and delivering wholesale energy as well as Government levies collected through bills.
It said the latest increase, which is three times the rate of inflation, would come into effect from November 15.
The company, which trades as Southern Electric, Swalec and Scottish Hydro, said the hike equated to an average £2 a week for a typical dual fuel customer.
Will Morris, SSE retail managing director, said the firm was "sorry" to have to raise its prices:
We're sorry we have to do this.
We've done as much as we could to keep prices down, but the reality is that buying wholesale energy in global markets, delivering it to customers' homes, and government-imposed levies collected through bills - endorsed by all the major parties - all cost more than they did last year. Eighty five per cent of a typical energy bill is made up of costs outside our direct control and these costs have increased.
So far this year we have made a loss from supplying energy as a result of the higher costs we have been facing and continue to face. We understand and regret that this will add to the pressures on household budgets, but there's a lot we can do to help.
Rising unit prices do not have to mean rising bills and there remains huge potential for customers to save money by improving further their energy efficiency.
Energy company SSE said household electricity and gas tariffs are to increase by an average of 8.2% from November 15.
The Gas and Electricity company SSE was forced to apologise after being hit with a record penalty for deliberately misleading customers. The energy watchdog fined the firm £10 million for what it called "prolonged and extensive" mis-selling.
As our Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg reports, they tried to trick customers into switching to them.
ITV News spoke to one of those who did the selling for SSE. He spoke anonymously, and only stayed in the job for a short time:
"You would go to the door and you would say, we realise you're on a high energy tariff - and basically that wasn't true, we didn't know what tariff they were on, or what company they were with. All we knew was their name and address.
"Once you got into the script, you would wipe your feet on the mat and point at their groin so they would move out the way so you could walk into the house.
"I used the first two or three lines [of the script] to get to know the customer, but other than that I found it very difficult - I felt I was taking advantage of a human being, not just a customer."
In a statement, SSE says it "does not regard behaviour of the kind alleged as acceptable and is committed to the highest standards possible in sales, backed up by our industry-leading Sales Guarantee."