British Gas will raise its electricity and gas bills by next month
Centrica-owned British Gas will announce today that it will raise its charges for both electricity and gas by about 8%, adding £100 a year per household to the average dual fuel bill.
This news comes as a consequence of the previously announced rises by British Gas’ main competitor, SSE. The company, which trades under the names of Scottish Hydro, Swalec and Southern Electric, has confirmed it will increase its prices by 9% on average from Monday.
The price rise is expected to come into effect in the next month.
British Gas spokesman said only: “We do not comment on future pricing movements. We do not comment on speculation about future pricing movements.”
British Gas last raised its tariffs in August 2011. In May, the energy company gave a hint about price rises, saying that it would probably have to raise domestic prices for the following winter due to an increase of wholesale costs by 15%.
It is expected that all other suppliers will follow the energy giants in hiking prices. Currently, customers who want to avoid spending more can only fix their energy bills by switching providers.
The cheapest price fix available until March 2012 is with First Utility, though there is an exit fee of £30. Alternatively, Scottish Power’s deal, offered without any exit fee stipulation, guarantees locked prices until 31st March 2014.
The average fuel bill per year costs about £1260, and this rise will bring the total amount to £1360. The charity Age UK said that the elderly are more and more concerned about their heating bills for the forthcoming months
Michelle Mitchell, director general of Age UK said: “Cold homes pose a serious risk to the health of older people, yet huge numbers of older people cannot afford to heat their homes properly.”
The Labour Party echoed what was said by Age UK, and prompted the government to break the oligopoly of few energy giants in order to protect elderly citizens and to simplify tariffs.
Last year the government announced the Warm Home Discount scheme, which gives discounted energy bills to older households. The programme is expected to help again an average of two million low-income homes for next winter.