Struggling to pay your energy bills?

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

British Gas has announced it will be raising its gas and electricity rates come August this summer. For some consumers, this rate rise will push them into fuel poverty.

Customers of British gas will see their gas rates rise by 18 percent and their electricity rates by 16 percent.

The Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) exclaim their advisers already helped almost 104,000 people with fuel debt problems last year, and warn this latest round of price hikes will tip many who are struggling to make ends meet over the edge.

“We already see cases of self-rationing and self-disconnection where people on low incomes who can’t afford rapidly rising gas and electricity bills decide their only option is to go without the heating they need,” commented Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice chief executive.

The average British Gas customer on their duel fuel plan will see their bills rise from £1,096 to £1,288 following the hike. Taking into consideration the price rises in December too however, customers will have seen their bills rise by 25 percent in the space of a year.

“This price rise will send a shock wave across the country,” added Mike O’Connor CBE, Consumer Focus chief executive.

“The impact on customers will be severe, piling more pressure on severely stretched household budgets and pushing hundreds of thousands more households into fuel poverty.

Other basic living costs such as fuel add to the financial crisis many Brits are experiencing as pay rises continue to be largely frozen across the country.

According to research by Sainsbury’s Finance, the cost of motoring has become unaffordable for 1.3 million drivers.

If you are unable to budget your monthly income to manage your increasing outgoings, a prepaid credit card could help you. The card prevents overspending as there is no overdraft.

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