Two of Britain's largest energy companies, British Gas and npower, have announced price rises.
British Gas confirmed that it will hike gas and electricity tariffs by six per cent from next month, whilst rivals npower followed with an average rise of nine per cent for gas and electricity.
For British Gas the rise in prices, which will affect 8.5 million customers, adding an extra £80 on to its typical annual dual fuel bill.
Managing director for the company Phil Bentley said rising costs that are largely outside its control, but which make up most tariffs, were to blame.
However, the pre-winter increase comes just months after British Gas announced a 23 per cent leap in half-year profits at its parent company Centrica to £345 million.
Both companies blamed rising costs largely outside their control, but with food and some mortgage costs also on an upward path there were fears about how the elderly and those struggling financially will cope with the latest rises.
Unions and consumer groups attacked British Gas and called on the Government to take urgent action to tackle rising fuel prices.