UK’s biggest energy supplier, British Gas, has announced it is freezing gas and electricity prices until August, just as rival Scottish Power becomes its latest Big Six rival to announce a price hike.
Scottish Power announced standard energy prices will increase by an average of 7.8 per cent from 31 March, adding an extra £86 a year to a typical customer’s bill, according to the company.
Electricity prices will increase by an average of 10.8 per cent, while gas prices will go up by an average of 4.7 per cent.
Scottish Power said around 1.1 million, or a third of its customers, will be affected by the price hike.
“This price change follows months of cost increases that have already led to significant rises in fixed price products that now unfortunately have to be reflected in standard prices,” said Colin McNeill, UK retail director for Scottish Power.
Separately on Friday, British Gas owner Centrica said that the freeze that it is implementing had been made possible “despite increases in external costs”.
But some analysts warned customers from becoming too optimistic.
“British Gas’s price freeze is lulling customers into a false of security when they’re simply delaying the inevitable,” said Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of financial advice website money.co.uk.
“Freezing prices doesn’t help customers in the long run. The people it impacts are paying too much for their energy anyway because they’re on standard tariffs. If anything it’ll make them less likely to switch and save,” she added.
Npower earlier this month hiked standard tariff rates by about 9.8 per cent or £109.
In December, EDF announced it will raise its standard electricity tariff for UK customers by 8.4 per cent from March this year, marking the first of the Big Six energy suppliers to announce such an increase.
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