E.On and Scottish Power have confirmed their customers will face a £139 price increase set to impact 15 million homes in October.

The price of both E.On and Scottish Power’s standard tariffs will jump by around £139 a year, the maximum allowed by regulator Ofgem from October 1.

Earlier this month, it was announced the sharp rise will see default customers paying by direct debit see their bill rise from £1,138 to £1,277.

The announcement will impact half of the population and is mainly down to rising wholesale fuel costs, particularly gas, Ofgem say.

The energy regulator has introduced a cap on the price hike so that suppliers can “only pass on legitimate costs”.

E.On issue statement on price increase

An E.On spokeswoman said: “Ofgem reviews its price cap twice a year, setting a fair price for energy and reflecting the current state of the market.

“Following Ofgem’s latest update, we are in the process of writing to customers to inform them we will be changing our standard variable tariff prices from October 1.

There will be no change to our prices between now and that date.

“Ofgem’s latest update was driven by a more than doubling of global gas prices in the last six months and there’s almost nothing suppliers can do to change those market costs.

“Suppliers cannot sell products for less than they cost to buy, or the entire industry becomes loss-making and the UK won’t have sustainable companies supplying its energy.

“In the last three years, more than 30 suppliers have left this market, many because they set unsustainably low tariffs and could not respond to market changes.”

Scottish Power issue statement on Price increase

A Scottish Power spokeswoman said: “We will be moving the costs of our standard variable tariffs in line with Ofgem’s changes to the energy price cap later this year.”

As Ofgem stated, these changes have been driven by the rise of more than 50% in wholesale energy costs over the past six months, including record high gas prices.

“We’re in the process of contacting our customers affected by this change and, as always, will continue to do all we can to support them, ensure they are on the best tariff for their energy use, and provide direct help to those who need it most.”

EDF energy

Last week EDF Energy became the first Big Six supplier to announce it was increasing the price of its average standard variable tariff for direct debit customers by 12% to £1,277.

Philippe Commaret, managing director of customers at EDF, said: “As Ofgem has explained, it is global gas prices that have caused the unprecedented increase in wholesale energy costs and as a sustainable, long-term business we must reflect the costs we face.”

Others are expected to follow.

Ofgem say help is available for households struggling to pay

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Higher energy bills are never welcome and the timing and size of this increase will be particularly difficult for many families still struggling with the impact of the pandemic.

“The price cap means suppliers only pass on legitimate costs of supplying energy and cannot charge more than the level of the price cap, although they can charge less.

“If you’re struggling to pay your bill you can get in touch with your supplier to access the help that’s available and, if possible, shop around for a better deal.

“I appreciate this is extremely difficult news for many people, my commitment to customers is that Ofgem will continue to do everything we can to ensure they are protected this winter, especially those in vulnerable circumstances.”