British Gas has announced it will be increasing its gas and electricity prices from August 18, another blow to UK households already concerned about the rising cost of energy.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says: ‘This is an unwelcome but unsurprising announcement for British Gas’ millions of customers.
‘Many people are already having to cut back on essentials because of the rising cost of living, and with average bills rising even further, it could be a cold winter for many.’
Last week British Gas hinted that energy price rises were imminent. Its chief operating officer Ian Peters said: ‘Unless there is a fundamental shift in the way the commodity markets are going to play out in the next few weeks then, on the balance of probability, we will reluctantly put the price up.’
British Gas price increases
The British Gas price hikes don’t come as a surprise, but will certainly come as a blow to consumers. Which? research shows that rising energy prices are consumers’ number one financial concern.
Last month Scottish Power announced it would be increasing gas prices by 19% and electricity charges by 10% from 1 August, and it is expected that the other ‘big six’ energy companies will continue to follow suit.
A spokesperson for Scottish Power said that the price rises were a result of rising wholesale costs of energy.
Honesty on energy prices
Which? is currently calling for energy companies to make energy tariffs clearer and more transparent. Even if wholesale prices do increase, with simple tariffs customers can more easily compare prices and switch.
We’re also asking the government to help increase competition in the energy market – by clearing the way for new suppliers they could increase competition and potentially help drive improvements in services and lower prices.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
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