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 70.

    Get used to it, soon the whole of Asia, Africa and South america will be hooked up and addicted to the earth's dwindling resourses, coupled with the increasingly bankrupt uncompetetive UKs ageing population decimating our relative purchasing power = power off. Happy days, not.
    Get building those wind pylons now, the 20% subsidy it's putting on your gas bill today will soon seem like nothing!

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    I love my country, and even more after the olympics....there is no need for a price hike.... i lived in france and the elec is atleast 80 percent cheaper.... i blame old maggie for selling it off, and blair for continuing...

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.


    "When I noticed the price rises on my bills I simply incorporated shares from some of the big 6 into my portfolio. It took one phonecall to my broker. I bet most of the wingers on here havn't even got a broker. It's called 'personal responsibilty' people".

    I wonder what fat fee your broker took for pressing a few buttons bet it was more than 8%, UK finance, expensive poor service. !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    There is no point changing suppliers, they all do the same thing all you do is delay the knock on effect. Besides it isnt easy to get out of any current contracts and whats the point? I am pretty sure we will all do what we normally do which is put up and shut up, there is nothing else we CAN do. Ofgem are like all watchdogs, useless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    If you see Sid, tell I won't to have a word.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Its not fair every government we've had in power has done nothing to stop this because they get extra revenue for these price rises.

    I say to everyone to go on some kind of strike like one Sunday don't go out in your car or fill up with petrol,try not to turn heating on once in the week and see if we can beat these greedy people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Hasnt everyone got BG shares after that successful Tell Sid campaign? Surely most of us are benefitting as shareholders from high prices & profits? Isnt it better now it is in the private sector & the owners dont need to care about public health, the old & the poor and can just concentrate on increasing profits and dividends without worrying about the electorate?

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    To 1878onwards@35.Don't we find though that when one provider puts their prices up,the others eventually follow suit.I find this current day business of having to shop around and change companies all the time a pain in the .....

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    13 Minutes ago
    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,, when are we going to call time on this colossal greed?

    Hmmm .... I await, breath bated, for your suggestions??

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    53 Coggin
    I seem to remember that when shares were sold in British Gas, the man in the street fought to get hold of them.
    Apparently they buy the gas as 'futures' and 2 years in advance and that is the 'price' they are having to pay!

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Since privatisation the price of gas and electricity has gone through the roof The government of the day can only reduce the tax on it in this country the indirect taxation makes our tax system unfair

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Headline at start of Summer : Power Prices Down by 1%
    Headline at start of Winter : Power Prices Up by 10%

    Hmm, funny that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    On their website Ofgem proudly state"Protecting consumers is our first priority. We do this by promoting competition, wherever appropriate"

    Which begs the question when is it not approprate?

    About time that this useless watchdog was confined to the dustbin of history and something with real influence put in its place but dont expect anything from this Government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    i know lets not pay what they going to do cut us all off its our gas its our planet

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    I agree ; conciously switch off lights when leaving the room ( particularly halos as they guzzle energy ). "Bleed" radiators regularly.Get an online account set up and you will be able to work out when the energy is being used the most and take steps.
    IF you are in credit and they attempt to increase your premiums, ask for your credit balance back first. You might be surprised how they react.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    British Gas are raising their prices in the confident belief that the other energy suppliers will follow them. This is how the informal cartel of energy suppliers works against the customer. We just need one supplier to declare that it is not raising its prices for the cartel to collapse and for competition to work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Here we go again, just coming up to winter and prices go up. What happened to the investigation into utility pricing? The utilities should never have been privatised which was only done to make money for the few, and not as proclaimed at the time to open up competition - WHAT COMPETITION! Not forgetting that most utilities are foreign owned and we (the UK) are their cash cow!

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    8. Treeman12
    More money for the rich at the expense of the poor. Gov should do something about it!
    The Gov are the rich!

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Price regulation is simple. Every 6 months, on the same day, all fuel suppliers have to submit their rate for dual fuel paid by monthly Direct Debit, to the fuel regulator in secrecy. They have to keep to that price for that period. The price must be set without collusion i.e. fixing. That would mean we consumers can make an informed opinion and change suppliers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Cant stand these energy companies!


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