Tens of thousands of households with Ovo Energy will be hit by rising gas and electricity prices.

Today's news, which comes two months after a raft of price drop announcements, has fuelled fears more hard-pressed households may be hit in the pocket once again.

The jump will see Ovo's 10,000 customers on a variable rate tariff pay a typical 6.2% more for dual fuel from 3 May, taking an annual bill for a typical household to 1,190.

Ovo's existing 80,000 customers on a fixed deal won't see rises due to the nature of their product.

But if they renew onto a variable rate, which is the default option, they will pay the new, increased cost.

The price of fixes for new customers and those who renew onto a fix rises today by 7.7% for dual fuel, taking the price for a typical household to 1,140.

Ovo's electricity-only fixed deal also jumps by 3%.

The company blames the rising cost it pays for gas and electricity for the increase.

Its managing director Stephen Fitzpatrick says: "We buy our energy a year in advance and due to recent sustained increases in wholesale prices, our prices now need to go up."

All the big six energy firms British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish & Southern and Scottish Power announced in January they would reduce either their gas or electricity prices, not both, by a typical 5%.

Most of those falls have come into force already, though Scottish & Southern's drop only happens on 26 March. However, the reductions failed to get anywhere near reversing the up-to-19% jumps for gas and electricity imposed last year.

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