British Gas raises fuel bills again

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The Independent Online

Around eight million British Gas customers will face higher utility bills from next month after the energy supplier confirmed a 7 per cent rise in tariffs. The increases to gas and electricity bills will come into effect on 10 December, amounting to a rise of £1.50 on the average weekly dual-fuel bill, or £80 a year. The hikes apply to customers on standard and variable tariffs.

British Gas said rising wholesale prices had forced it to increase the bills, but promised not to apply the increase to the company's 300,000 most vulnerable customers, such as the poorest pensioners.

The move follows a similar price rise by the utility giant Scottish & Southern Energy at the end of last month. SSE said it would put up its gas bills by 9 per cent from 1 December. The industry regulator Ofgem recently warned that rising prices in the wholesale market could be passed on to the consumer. British Gas said it had seen a rise of more than 25 per cent in wholesale prices since the spring.