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Caithness News Bulletins February 2006

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SCOTTISHPOWER TO RAISE PRICES FROM MARCH
AS A RESULT OF SOARING WHOLESALE COSTS

ScottishPower, while continuing to absorb much of the impact of soaring wholesale costs, today announced higher gas and electricity prices, but extended availability of its Capped Price Offer shielding customers from further increases until October 2007. From 1 March 2006 electricity prices will rise by 8% and gas by 15%.

Willie MacDiarmid, Director of Energy Retail, said: "Wholesale energy costs are now at record levels, up by around 80% over the last 12 months. We have worked hard to protect our customers from this over the winter. However, we now need to pass on a further part of the increased costs from March when milder weather should help lessen the impact on bills."

Customers can however avoid the full impact of the increase, and protect themselves from any further rises until October 2007, by switching to ScottishPower's Capped Price Offer before 24 March 2006.

Around one million of ScottishPower's 5.2 million customers already on a capped scheme will avoid the increases which amount to around 23 a year in electricity and 65 on gas for average bills.

Similarly, customers who currently pay by cheque can offset most of the increase by switching to Direct Debit, saving on average 56 a year.

To help its most vulnerable customers, ScottishPower also offers a package of measures, including insulation grants which can save an average household up to 200 a year. The package includes:

  • A 2m trust fund offering financial support to children and young people living in fuel poverty
  • Free cavity wall insulation for all customers who are on Government means-tested benefits, Tax Credit, or Pension Credit
  • Free loft insulation for all customers who are on means tested benefits, Tax Credit, or Pension Credit
  • A grant of 30 to customers on ScottishPower's Carefree Priority Service Register paid in time to help with their winter fuel payments.

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