Following suit

Energy giant EON has announced that it will hike the price of gas up by 18 percent and that of electricity 11 percent from September 13.

Our rough calculations predict that this will mean that the average dual fuel bill will see £170 added to it.

Paul Green, chief executive of Energyhelpline.com, said: 'Even though this price rise was fairly predictable, the scale of it will stun E.ON customers. It will add £170 to the average dual fuel bill and plunge another estimated 140,000 homes into fuel poverty – where people are paying at least 10percent of their income to heat their homes.'

It leaves pensioners facing a 'heat or eat-off', having to choose between cutting back on food to heat their homes or the reverse.

'We have been warning this would happen for several months now because of the inflation in wholesale energy prices but its predictability doesn't make it any easier for those who will be on the receiving end,' added Mr Green.

Richard Lloyd, of consumer group Which?, commented: 'Suppliers have repeatedly blamed rising wholesale energy costs for the spate of hikes, but this is cold comfort to those struggling to manage tight household budgets. This is also bad news for all of us, piling more inflationary pressure on top of weak consumer confidence in a sluggish economy.'

Scott Byrom, energy expert at moneysupermarket.com, echoed his sentiment: 'It's a dark day for bill payers as the summer of discontent continues; E.ON is today the latest to announce substantial price hikes. Bill payers need to strike back, or they'll continue to pay the price,' he said.

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