ENERGY company Powergen today became the sixth major gas and electricity supplier to announce a hike in prices.
Powergen, which has thousands of customers in Yorkshire, said it was increasing prices by 18.4% for electricity customers and by 24.4% for gas users.
The latest increases, which are the largest in Powergen's history, add £56 to its average annual electricity bill, with gas customers facing a rise of £107. The increases are due to come into force on March 10.
The increase is the fifth in two years by Powergen, which owned by German energy giant E.ON.
It follows similar price hikes by British Gas, Scottish Power and npower.
Powergen claimed its increases since January, 2004, were below the average for the industry - and customers could still save £130 a year with Powergen compared to taking their gas and electricity from British Gas.
The group also said it had earmarked £100m to improve energy efficiency for about 500,000 elderly and vulnerable customers over the next three years.
Nick Horler, managing director of Powergen Retail, said:
"We shielded our customers from the impact of (a jump in wholesale) costs for as long as possible and we continue to ensure that our prices are highly competitive."
The announcement has piled on the pressure for Huddersfield families who face above-inflation rises for public services.
West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire Service have confirmed a 5% increase to their costs over the next 12 months.
And a 5% rise in Kirklees Council tax bills, adding an average £59 a year, is also on the way.