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British Gas price rise ‘in next few weeks’?

Hints suggest that a price hike may be imminent

A price rise from British Gas could happen in the ‘next few weeks’, according to hints from its chief operating officer.

During an Energy and Climate Change Select Committee meeting earlier this week, British Gas chief operating officer Ian Peters told MPs: 

‘Unless there is a fundamental shift in the way the commodity market are going to play out in the next few weeks then, on the balance of probability, we will reluctantly put the price up. I’m not going to get drawn into precisely when or how.’

Meanwhile, a profits statement from British Gas’ parent company, Centrica, indicated to investors that profits for the first half of 2011 were expected to be lower than in 2010, blaming rising wholesale energy costs and lower consumption.

It added that ‘retail margin recovery’ would help ensure its annual earnings show year-on-year growth.

British Gas price rise?

Earlier this month, Scottish Power announced it would increase gas prices by 19% and hike electricity charges by 10% from 1 August. Since then, speculation has been mounting around when the other ‘big six’ energy companies will follow suit.

Which? principal advocate Pete Moorey says: ‘This will come as no surprise to most British Gas customers, as its parent company Centrica has been hinting for weeks that price rises are on the horizon. It’s then only a matter of time before the other big suppliers follow suit. 

‘The Bank of England predicted that gas prices could rise by 15% and electricity prices by 10% this winter, so it’s more important than ever that people consider ways to cut down on their energy costs – whether it’s making sure that your house is well insulated or switching supplier to get a cheaper tariff.’

Switching energy tariffs

Which? Switch, the independent, not-for-profit energy comparison service from Which?, has seen a noticeable rise in the number of customers switching to fixed-term energy tariffs to safeguard against energy price rises.

You can get personalised tariff recommendations by running a comparison on Which? Switch, which lists current gas and electricity deals on the market.

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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