British Gas Ups Energy Prices by 9.2%

October 18, 2013

Luke-Notley small (Custom)British Gas has announced a rise in its prices, the second major supplier of household energy to do so, following SSE’s price rise last week.

This price rise will add £107 to the average annual dual-fuel, adding further financial demands on 7.8 million households.

There are regional variations, meaning some Scottish customers will see prices rise on average by as much as 11.2%. Those in London will receive a 10.6% increase and households in Yorkshire will suffer a 10.5% rise.

The average annual dual-fuel bill with British Gas will increase by £107 to £1,297.

The move comes despite British Gas pledging this year to use an annual earnings windfall from the particularly cold weather last winter to stop tariffs rising.

Centrica, parent company of British Gas, said of the price hike: “We recognise that energy bills are a real worry for hard-pressed households, particularly at a time when the cost of living is rising faster than incomes.

“Today’s announcement, which will add about £2 a week to the average dual fuel bill, reflects the increasing cost of: buying energy in global markets, delivering gas and electricity to the home, and the Government’s social and environmental programmes, which are paid for through customers’ bills,” they said.

Centrica announced that more than 500,000 of its most in-need customers, including the elderly, would be protected by an automatic discount worth £60 per dual fuel household, which will offset the price increase.

As well as this, £135 that will be paid to many of these customers who qualify for the Government’s Warm Home Discount scheme.

British Gas Residential Energy managing director, Ian Peters, said: “I know these are difficult times for many customers and totally understand the frustration that so many household costs keep on rising when incomes aren’t keeping pace.

“We haven’t taken this decision lightly, but what’s pushing up energy prices at the moment are costs that are not all directly under our control, such as the global price of energy, charges that we have to pay for using the national grid that delivers energy to the home, and the cost of the Government’s social and environmental programmes.

“Energy efficiency is the best way to keep bills down, and I encourage anyone who has not benefitted from them to go online and check if they are eligible,” he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron has urged consumers to find the best deal and switch suppliers, describing the energy supplier’s 9.2 per cent gas and electricity price hike as “very disappointing”. Mr Cameron told BBC Radio, “These are very disappointing announcements by British Gas. There are things we can do. We are intervening because we’re legislating to say these companies have to put their customers onto the lowest tariff.

“I think a lot of customers find it utterly baffling how many tariffs they have so we’re going to have a simpler system,”

Energy secretary Ed Davey said that many energy suppliers are offering households a better deal than British Gas.

“I have said to British Gas customers that if they are worried about this they should change,” Mr Davey told the Commons.

“There are a range of competitors and alternative suppliers that are offering a much better deal. And by the way, those suppliers are there because of the actions of this Government,” he said.

Caroline Flint, Labour’s shadow energy and climate change secretary, said the latest rise by British Gas showed “clearer than ever” why Labour lead Ed Miliband’s proposed 20-month energy price freeze was needed.

 Jenna-Williams1 (Custom)“Whilst this is bad news for customers, payments to utility companies are classed as priority debts and should always be kept up to date before paying any unsecured creditors. At InControl, we make sure our customers can afford these utility rises by reducing the payments to their non-priority creditors such as credit cards and loans.”