British Gas to raise its gas and electricity prices

Oven British Gas last raised its tariffs in August 2011

British Gas is due to announce increases to its gas and electricity charges on Friday, the BBC understands.

It is expected to raise its charges for both by about 8%, adding £100 a year to the average dual fuel bill.

The increase is expected to come into effect in about one month.

Its rival SSE, which trades as Scottish Hydro, Swalec and Southern Electric, has already said it will raise its prices by an average of 9% from Monday.

With the average dual fuel bill now more than £1,300, Age UK said many older people were feeling "extremely anxious" about their heating bills.

"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," said Michelle Mitchell, director general of Age UK.

Rising costs

British Gas last raised its tariffs in August 2011, when gas prices went up by 18% and electricity prices by 16%.

Then in January 2012, it cut its electricity prices by 5%.

British Gas has so far declined to comment. However, in May this year the company warned that it might have to raise domestic prices this winter.

The firm cited rising wholesale gas prices as the reason, arguing that they were likely to be 15% higher this winter than last.

The rest of the big six energy suppliers are expected to follow British Gas and SSE's lead this year, except for Eon, which promised not to do so this year, so will have to wait until January at the earliest.

In May, British Gas' parent company Centrica said other costs such as government energy efficiency policies would add another £50 to the cost of supplying energy to the average home.

The company is expected to say more about these extra costs, which are understood to have risen, on Friday.

Age UK is calling on the government to invest more in improving the energy efficiency of older people's homes.

The government said it did not speculate about supplier price announcements, but acknowledged that "rising energy prices are hitting many households hard at a difficult time and need to ensure we are doing all we can to help them keep their bills down".

Labour, meanwhile, said the government should "break the dominance of the energy giants, to simplify tariffs and to protect vulnerable customers from being ripped off".

"Hard-pressed families and businesses need much more transparency on costs, pricing and profits to know whether they're getting a fair deal," said shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint.

Under the government's Warm Home Discount Scheme, energy suppliers agreed to give discounts on energy bills to older households who receive certain benefits.

When it was launched last year, the government said it expected the four-year scheme to be worth £1.1bn and to help two million low-income households with their energy bills.

Energy price changes since November 2010

Scottish Power SSE British Gas Npower E.On EDF

G=Gas. E=Electricity.

Nov 2010

G:2% E:8.9%



G:7% E:7%

Jan 2011

G: 5.1% E: 5.1%


G:3% E:9%


G:6.5% E:7.5%


G:19% E:10%

G:18% E:16%


G:18% E:11%

G:18% E:11%


G:15.7% E:7.2%


G:15.4% E:4.5%

Jan 2012

E: -5%


G: -5%

G: -5%

E: -6%

G: -5%


G: -4.5%


G: 9% E:9%


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  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    This is an absolute disgrace. How are we going to be able to afford this? Thames water want more money to build something and replace pipes etc. If they are a private company these repairs etc. should come out of profits - that's the idea of it. It strikes me they make money but still want us to pay. What a rip off this country is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Back on the "merry go round"

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Given the recent huge profit figures for the parent company of British gas, I fail to understand why this increase is needed. Other than of course to enhance the profits of BG and their greedy shareholders !
    As far as I can see no-one cares about the general public ! I am old enought to remember when the nationalised industries were privatised and the promises we were given by the government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    For Christmas, I might treat myself to having the heating on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Wish our salary was going up by 8% this year :(( We just get told we're very lucky to have a job ...... still ..... Always look on the bright side !

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Wasn't private competition supposed to make the energy marketplace more competitive, resulting is cheaper prices for consumers whilst profits could be reinvested for the future? It seems as though energy giants can have their cake and it eat it.. making huge profits selling a necessity of life whilst expecting the government to subsidise their research and adoption of green energy alternatives.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.


    Sorry not true.
    OVO buy enery differently. No mid term increases.
    Of course energy costs go up. they pay staff more, infrusture imporvements, etc.
    My energy cost is less than it was 5 years ago. I have improved double glazing, insulation, low energy light bulbs etc.
    I live in a 3 bed house with the family & pay £78 pmth (gas+elec) & still have a credit at year end

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    This badly run company wastes far too much in hopelessly inefficient administration to be allowed to pass on costs to the consumer. They have schemed to put up prices just when there is demand rising for the winter months and they are sly double dealers conning the public to sign up to them even whilst planning to hike their price. The Government needs to regulate this type of monopoly company.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    please please put the price up 9%
    higher 10%
    higher 11%
    higher 12%
    higher 13%
    higher 14%
    higher 15%
    higher 20%
    Higher 30%

    Warning energy price masochist!

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Someone please remind me how many billions of profit they made and what the percentage increase was?
    Government keep out of it as higher prices = more VAT = more Corporation Tax. they think we're stupid!

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Funny old world - with the UK's ever-rising energy prices.

    There's such a glut of gas on world markets that Gazprom's desperate for new customers - and plans to extend the NordStream pipeline to Britain.

    You might even think we're being ripped off.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Come on people, the more gas and electricity we save by "efficiency" the more these companies have to charge to keep profits high for their shareholders.
    Doesn't take a rocket scientist to work that one out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Why do we put up with this? For years, we have been ripped off by the gas companies, the water companies, the rail companies and others, all of whom tell us that consistent price hikes are absolutely necessary for investment/to cover costs and all those bloated salaries and bonuses are mere figments of our imaginations.

    I ask you again, when are we going to call time on this colossal greed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    "In the bleak midwinter frosty BG made moan.."

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Ahh dont worry ofgem will save from these unfair price hikes as they have always done it the past lol.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Competitive market? Rubbish! The Government has allowed a cosy cartel to dictate energy prices and turned a blind eye to ridiculous price rises. Shame on them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Put the price down in summer(use less), up in winter(use more).
    Do they think we are stupid and won't notice?

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.


    "Don't know why people don't change suppliers more often"

    No point. As soon as one company increases, the others follow suit. They are all in cahoots with each other, and not enough competition in the market. Our bills are only going one way and that is up, regardless of any "energy efficiencies" we try to make

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    This is news? Energy prices rising for the winter! Farmers raising food prices because of a "bad summer". Maybe bankers should ask the government for a hardship allowance. The rich get richer and the poorer get poorer!


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