Domestic energy customers have been urged to discourage energy suppliers from putting up their prices by comparing energy deals from rival providers.
The call came from energy secretary Chris Huhne in the wake of ScottishPower's announcement that it would be raising the price of gas by 19 per cent and the cost of electricity by ten per cent this August.
Mr Huhne told the Observer: "Consumers don't have to take price increases lying down. If an energy company hits you with a price increase, you can hit them back where it hurts - by shopping around and voting with your feet."
His advice was echoed by Peter Black, a Liberal Democrat Welsh assembly member, who suggested householders log on to energy comparison site energyhelpline.com to compare prices and switch deals when they find a cheaper one.
Meanwhile, the government has unveiled plans to help smaller energy suppliers access the market by making them exempt from two energy efficiency taxes usually levied on all businesses.
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