By Susanna Twidale
LONDON (Reuters) - Energy bills are set to rise for millions of households in Britain after the country's energy regulator gave the green light to suppliers to increase bills by more than 10 percent from April 1.
Ofgem, which reviews the price cap every six months, said it needed to allow suppliers to charge more as wholesale energy contracts, used to help formulate the cap level, were 17 percent higher than during the last cap period.
The cap for average annual consumption on the most commonly used tariffs used by around 11 million households will rise by 10.3 percent - or 117 pounds ($151) - to 1,254 pounds.
Britain's headline inflation rate increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in December, while average weekly earnings were up 3.4 percent year-on-year in the three months to the end of November.
Several of Britain's biggest suppliers, a group known as the "Big Six," complained the cap was initially set too low.
Innogy's npower said the cap was partly why it announced plans to shed 900 jobs last week.
Most are expected to increase prices once it is raised.
"With over 60 companies and more than 200 tariffs to choose from, consumers can always shop around for a cheaper deal and make big savings by switching," Perry said.
Several smaller, independent energy suppliers such as Bulb and Octopus Energy have said they will not increase prices following the cap rise as their innovative technology allows them to keep prices lower.
($1 = 0.7730 pounds)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)