SSE has become the latest energy firm to hike bills, saying wholesale price increases and Government policy was forcing it to raise tariffs.

The group is increasing electricity and gas bills by an average of 6.7%, or £76 per year, in a move affecting 2.36 million customers.

The price changes will come into force on July 11, with a 5.7% rise for gas and 7.7% for electricity bills.

This will equate to an average increase of around £1.50 a week for customers buying both gas and electricity.

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Stephen Forbes, chief commercial officer of SSE Energy Services, said: “We deeply regret having to raise prices and have worked hard to withstand the increasing costs that are largely outside our control by reducing our own internal costs.

“However, as we’ve seen with recent adjustments to Ofgem’s price caps, the cost of supplying energy is increasing and this ultimately impacts the prices we’re able to offer customers.”

The price hike from SSE comes after Npower, EDF, British Gas and ScottishPower all raised prices.

More than nine million households will be hit when the tariff rises from the energy firms come into effect over the summer, which economists have said will likely push up inflation.

Energy companies have blamed the Government’s planned introduction of a cap on standard variable tariffs for increasing prices.

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Profits at SSE took a knock last year as it lost 430,000 customers and was stung by charges linked to the merger of its retail arm with rival Npower.

The group reported a 6% fall in adjusted pre-tax profit to £1.45 billion in the year to March 31, while bottom-line profits tumbled 39% to £1.09 billion.

The company was hit with more than £60 million in IT costs related to its Npower deal.