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North-East's fury as npower announces energy price increase
THE North-East has reacted with anger after one of the region’s largest energy suppliers announced an inflation-busting price rise December 1.
RWE npower, which has more than 900,000 customers across the North of England and the whole of Yorkshire, said today (October 21) that it will raise electricity costs by 9.3 per cent and gas by 11.1 per cent.
Npower blamed the higher cost of delivering power to homes, meeting Government schemes and rising fuel costs, insisting it makes a fair return for delivering reliable energy to consumers.
Their announcement follows British Gas and SSE who announced price rises of their own last week.
Dorothy Bowman, a campaigner for elderly people from Newton Aycliffe in County Durham said the price hike will leave householders with a stark choice.
She said: “They will have to choose food or heat, it will be too expensive for both.
“This is at the wrong time for people, Npower could not give a damn about their customers and the dire misery they are subjecting them to, they just care about their profits.
“If they were going to do this why not do it in spring, now people have no choice.”
She said the elderly would suffer but so would young families living on a tight budget.
Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman also condemned the price rise.
The Labour MP said: “It seems that a day can’t go by without another energy company announcing a price rise.
“Every day, hardworking families who are already struggling with the cost of living crisis are hit with more bad news.
“David Cameron is out of touch, unable and unwilling to challenge the big energy firms.
“Labour’s proposed price freeze would help 27 million households and 2.4 million businesses."
National charity Age UK runs a friends group in Darlington to help elderly people socialise and get out more.
Charity Director Caroline Abrahams, said: “Energy bills are already a huge concern for many pensioners who will be dreading this new round of price hikes.
“Many thousands of older people face a daily battle to stay warm during winter, risking their health by keeping the heating low to avoid running up a bill they can’t afford.”
Age UK offer free advice to help people cope with their bills, call 0800-169-6565 or visit ageuk.org.uk for more information.
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