Scottish Power has understandably provoked howls of protests after announcing plans to raise its gas price by a thumping 19 per cent and its electricity tariffs by an inflation-busting 10 per cent.
And over the next few days and weeks, I am sure its main competitors will announce similar price hikes — leaving Britain's unhappy householders facing annual power bills some £200 higher than they were a year ago.
Of course, the power companies will offer the normal excuses. Media-trained chief executives will point to increases in wholesale power prices, which have gone up by about 25 per cent since last winter.
And no doubt one or two will blame increased demand from Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami last March.
But none of them, I'll wager, will mention one of the biggest reasons why our power bills only ever seem to be heading up and up and why — regardless of what's happening in the wholesale energy market — they could easily have doubled by 2020.
Spurred by the Government's stubborn but wrong-headed commitment to renewable energy, so-called green stealth taxes are already adding 15-20 per cent to the average domestic power bill and even more to business users.