British Gas announces 5.5% price hike, affecting 4.1m UK households

Increase will add an average of £60 to typical dual fuel bill

Caitlin Morrison
Tuesday 10 April 2018 11:11
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The energy firm said the increase was due to rising wholesale and policy costs, and blamed government policy
The energy firm said the increase was due to rising wholesale and policy costs, and blamed government policy

British Gas will hike its prices by an average of 5.5 per cent next month, taking the price of its standard tariff to £1,161 for a typical dual fuel customer.

The energy firm said the increase was due to rising wholesale and policy costs, and blamed government policy for putting more pressure on customers' bills.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, said the new price will affect 4.1m customers, who will see their bills go up by an average of £60 per year.

Mark Hodges, chief executive of Centrica Consumer, said: “We fully understand that any price increase adds extra pressure on customers' household bills. This increase we are announcing today is reflective of the costs we are seeing which are beyond our control.

“We continue to work hard to reduce our own costs and keep our prices as low as possible. We have seen other suppliers raise prices and Ofgem increase the level of the prepayment tariff cap largely due to increasing wholesale energy and government policy costs.“

He added: “Government policies, intended to transform the energy system, are important but they are putting pressure on customers' bills.

“We believe the government should level the playing field so the customers of all suppliers pay a fair share of energy policy costs. We continue to encourage government to consider moving these costs out of energy bills altogether and into general taxation.”

The minister for energy and clean growth, Claire Perry said: “We are disappointed by British Gas’s announcement of an unjustified price rise in its default tariff when customers are already paying more than they need to.

“This is why government is introducing a new price cap by this winter to guarantee that consumers are protected from poor value tariffs and further bring down the £1.4bn a year consumers have been overpaying the Big Six. Switching suppliers will always help consumers get the best deal, saving £308 by switching from a default tariff offered by the Big Six.”

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