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SSE price hikes are another blow for consumers

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Energywatch says Scottish and Southern Energy customers will be over £50 worse off per year, on average, following yesterday’s announcement of double-digit price rises.

SSE’s domestic electricity prices will rise by 12% and gas will rise by 13.6% on 1 January 2006. This follows price rises in March this year of 6.7% for electricity and 9.1% for gas.

Energywatch’s director of campaigns, Adam Scorer, said: “Yet again consumer’s budgets will be put under pressure by the soaring costs of powering and heating their homes. And the timing is poor: the new prices will come into effect just after the expense of Christmas and with the chill of January and February still ahead.

“But Energywatch acknowledges that SSE has taken some steps to soften the impact on some of those consumers at risk of fuel poverty.”

To save money, Energywatch urges consumers to look at ways to reduce their energy consumption. The Energy Smart campaign (http://www.energywatch.org.uk/help_and_advice/energysmart/index.asp), run by Energywatch in partnership with Ofgem, aims to help consumers cut fuel bills. Energywatch also recommends consumers to contact their local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre on 0845 7277200 for advice on grants and more information about home energy saving.

Another way for SSE customers to save money is either to pay by direct debit or promptly, as SSE is retaining its 6% discount for direct debit payments as well as a 3.5% discount for prompt payment.

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