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Labour Leader: Energy rise 'hitting especially hard' in Wales

Labour Leader, Ed Milliband, has taken to Twitter to criticise the announcement that SSE, which owns energy supplier SWALEC, will increase its prices by 8.2% from next month.

Energy price rise: Your views

With so many households already in fuel poverty, how can they justify more prise rises? People just cant afford to pay anymore!

– Debbie Laughton on Twitter

It's the old I feel sorry for as how many become seriously ill over the winter as they cant afford turn the heating on as gas suppliers keep putting prices up.

– Victoria Robb on Facebook

I was expecting a rise, after all the cold weather is here, so it hasn't come as a surprise at all.

– Jayne O'Connell on Facebook

If you want to share your views on this story, get in touch by email on wales@itv.com, on twitter @ITVWales or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

We'll include some of your comments on our website throughout the day, and on our programme at 6pm tonight.

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Energy price rise: We want your views

SSE announced prices will rise from November Credit: PA

Utility giant SSE, which owns Welsh energy supplier SWALEC, has announced prices will rise by 8.2 per cent from 15 November.

SSE has around 600,000 electric customers, and 400,000 gas customers in Wales.

We want your views on this story. You can get in touch in the following ways:

Email - wales@itv.com

Twitter - @ITVWales

Facebook - ITV Wales

SSE trades as SWALEC - with 1m customers in Wales

Energy giant SSE trades as Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro, and SWALEC which has around a million domestic accounts in Wales.

Its electricity and gas prices will rise by an average of 8.2 per cent from November 15, which the company says equates to an average of £2 per week for a typical dual fuel customer.

The price hike is three times the rate of inflation.

Welsh customers with SWALEC electricity or gas accounts will see prices rise from November.

It blamed the increased cost of buying and delivering wholesale energy as well as government levies collected through bills.

It is the first of the major suppliers to announce a rise this autumn.

SSE prices last rose in October 2012 - by an average of 9 per cent.

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SSE 'sorry to have to raise prices'

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.

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Consumer Focus: SSE 'not a case of one bad apple'

Consumer Focus has welcomed Ofgem's decision to fine SSE for the "systemic failure" in its direct selling operations.

This is not a case of one bad apple or one rogue sales team. The problems at SSE affected the whole direct selling operation and represent a fundamental failure at one of our biggest energy companies.

Other companies have also broken direct selling.

This has been a stain on the energy market since the introduction of competition. While the situation has got better and many companies have decided to end doorstep sales, the recent history casts a long shadow and Ofgem are right to take this scale if action.

– Adam Scorer, director of policy at Consumer Focus
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SSE 'very sorry' for mis-selling breaches

In response to Ofgem's £10.5m fine for mis-selling, energy firm SSE's corporate affairs director Alan Young said the firm was "very sorry" about the breaches of the rules.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme

What we were doing was not adequately telling people about the terms and conditions of their contract or adequately making sure they had the information they needed to switch.

We have set up an independent compliance unit to make sure, to monitor, to audit, to randomly check energy sales across all channels now so customers can have the assurance when they are dealing with us there are safeguards in place and proper structures.

We have totally reformed our business in this area, we have restructured it.

Mr Young also defended the management team still being in place, insisting SSE was one of the "best companies in Britain".

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