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LONDON (Reuters) - SSE (SSE.L) became the latest British energy supplier to raise energy prices on Monday, as it announced an increase in standard domestic electricity bills.
SSE said it would raise standard domestic electricity prices by an average 14.9 percent from April 28, which would result in a 6.9 percent rise, or an additional 73 pounds a year, for a typical dual fuel customer.
SSE said it would keep gas prices at their current level but the electricity price hike was due to rising wholesale power prices and escalating costs of government schemes to support renewable electricity generation and to help customers use less energy.
Wholesale gas and electricity prices rose by 9.1 and 11.7 percentage points between February 2016 and February 2017, according to data from energy market regulator Ofgem.
"We deeply regret having to raise electricity prices," Will Morris, managing director for retail at SSE, said in a statement.
"This is the first increase since 2013 and we've worked hard to keep them down for as long as possible by cutting our own costs, putting in place a winter price freeze and holding gas prices, but we have seen significant increases in electricity costs which are outside our control," he said.
Without an increase, the company would supply electricity to domestic customers at a loss, Morris added.
Last week, the British government said it was "prepared to act" if markets fail consumers, in response to a price hike by E.ON.
The government has said its policies only make up a small portion of household bills, and that by the 2020s bills will be lower on average than they would have been without the initiatives.
Ofgem said last month it had the power to cap energy price tariffs but would not do this without a strong signal from the government.
$1 = 0.8187 pounds