UK energy supplier Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has been forced to follow the lead of several of its peers and raise tariffs for gas and electricity for its UK residential customers.

SSE will increase its prices for the majority of its domestic electricity and gas customers on May 1, 2006. Standard prices for electricity customers will increase by 9.4% on average and standard prices for gas customers will increase by 16.5% on average. SSE will, it says, hold its electricity and gas prices for these domestic customers at their revised levels until at least the start of 2007.

The firm says that this is in line with its policy to protect its customers from the worst impacts of high and volatile wholesale energy prices and to delay for as long as possible any increases in prices for gas and electricity.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, energy supply director of SSE, said: The impact of high wholesale energy prices can only be absorbed for so long and we have delayed this price increase for as long as possible. In doing so, we have again imposed price rises more slowly than our competitors, an approach which has been of real help to our customers over the past two years.

We are also making a commitment to hold electricity and gas prices at their revised levels until at least the start of 2007, which is in line with our policy of responsible pricing. This policy clearly helps all customers. We are also ensuring our most vulnerable customers receive further help though our ‘energy plus care’ package, which offers practical help with fuel bills to those who most need it.