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SSE (formally Scottish and Southern Energy) is the first of the six major energy firms to increase tariffs, though it is possible that others will follow suit. SSE says it is merely passing on its higher costs, as the price of wholesale energy and cost of delivery has risen. The energy company’s stock opened higher this morning but has since drifted lower.
SSE is in a difficult position as it must strike a balance between keeping its shareholders happy while not charging excessive rates for what is an essential service. After May's announcement of a 5.6% rise in full-year pre-tax profit, customers will certainly not be happy with this morning’s announcement.
This time last year SSE reported a 9% increase in tariffs, while this morning’s increase is 8.2%. The company has promised that prices will not increase again until August 2014. Customers in the south of England will be charged an extra 9.7%, with customers in the north of England and Scotland facing a 7% rise in bills.