British Gas announce 6% price hike for gas and electricity
British Gas has announced plans to increase the cost of its gas and electricity by 6%, which will come into effect in November.
The major energy supplier will add an extra £80 a year to the average dual fuel bill, in a move that has not been well received.
“We know that household budgets are under pressure and this £1.50 per week rise will be unwelcome,” said Phil Bentley, British Gas managing director.
This comes after rival supplier Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) announced that it would push up its prices by an average of 9% from 15 October.
According to price comparison website uSwitch, the average household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer will increase from £1,260 to £1,336 a year.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said: “This is a bitter blow for consumers and comes just ahead of winter when the impact on bills will be even more acute.
“With SSE's price hike coming into effect next Monday and now Britain's biggest supplier announcing a hike of its own, the writing is on the wall for consumers this winter - energy bills are going skywards.”
This could push the nation further into fuel poverty. Those who are concerned about their finances might wish to use a prepaid credit card to help budget.
This is not the first time that consumers have been stung with rising energy bills. British Gas increased its prices in December 2010 and again in August 2011 by a massive 24.9% or £256 in total.
While Britain’s biggest supplier cut rates by 5% in January, British Gas customers are still paying significantly more than they were five years ago.
Many suppliers argue that the wholesale cost of gas and fuel prices largely influence the price of domestic gas. British Gas bosses claim that 85% of the price it charges customers is outside of its control.
“Britain's North Sea gas supplies are running out and British Gas has to pay the going rate for gas in a competitive global marketplace,” said Mr Bentley.