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 90.

    I can only hope I can afford to run my heating for the last few weeks of my life. At the moment, I'm sitting here wearing a tshirt, a sweater and a fleece, rather than turn the boiler on. But of course I understand that executive bonuses, huge salaries for senior staff and endless payments for advertising are much more important than giving value to customers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    I've just installed a woodburner with back boiler and radiators Burning logs of 20% moisture level or less costs me about a £10 a week to run. No Gas Or Electric needed = Massive Savings !! The energy companies won't be stining me with their ever increasing costs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    I'm glad I'm with Scottish power and my rate has been frozen
    so I won't be,:p
    while I'm at I'll stock up with tinned stuff and dry goods as food prices will go through the roof

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Why won't our governments intervene in this disgraceful industry?

    These despicable, greedy shareholders are forcing more and more people into poverty. They are also harming the general economy as people have less disposable income to buy other products.

    If one political party promised to 'stop the abuse of free pricing' in their manifesto, that would be enough to get my vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    food prices increasing, energy prices rising, wages falling, world economy collapsing, mother nature dying. now the good news... hmm, best I can find is woman trampled to death by cows.... make your own judgements

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Energy is not going to be getting cheaper. It has to rise to a level where non fossil fuels are economic. We are just not getting to have fossil fuels in enough volume for ever. More than that is energy security. We can not be stuck on the whim of Russia for gas or other oil producers. We will not be able to keep throwing money away abroad for energy. We need to keep out cash in our system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    Why do governments bother to publish inflation figures?

    Its quite clear that even though inflation should cover goods, services & wages etc, its only wages that get pegged (or just frozen) while every company puts prices up at twice the rate.

    Of course they will moan that they themselves have seen a price hike but its amazing that their profits rise as well. Funny that....

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Its winter again, well nearly. Pathetically obvious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    So how many more millions of people will be in fuel poverty this winter then?It stinks, we have a watchdog with no teeth and a govt unwilling to act.What happened to Camerons 'we're going to help the low paid and families' then?How many sick and elderly will die this winter because they can't afford heating?

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Electricity is cheaper in France because it is generated by their domestic nuclear power plants. They are dependent upon the importation of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Britain, by comparison, is at the mercy of the markets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    Eventually gas and oil reserves will run out. If you want a long term investment start buying trees now, they'll be worth their weight in gold in 20 years time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Just put another jumper on and think of George Osborne.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    This is what happens when public service companies are privatised, blame Thatcher.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Here we go again!
    Another round of price increases with all the Suppliers behaving like Sheep - and don't they just love it.

    If this was happening in any other Market sector it'd be known as price fixing and those involved would be brought to book.

    This needs sorting out now before People literally start dropping dead this coming winter.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Britain can deliver, pity this govt cant! its going to be a long winter me thinks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    Yupp. switch off stuff, turn the heating down, turn the lights out to save the planet and the energy companies put the prices up to recover the lost profits.

    Guess thats another 15 mins off the heating system timer this winter.... except it was already down at 30 mins a day due to the rises last year.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    It is time to confiscate utility companies back into public ownership. Those involved in the privitisation should be fined all the money they have, which should be used to subsidise energy. We also need to reopen the coal mines to secure energy supply. And punish the people who dismantled the coal industry.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    You don't complain when sky sports goes up.
    Simple turn your stat down and don't put your heating on in the morning when you are off to work will save you a fortune.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    it is simple - if you live in britain you are the prey

    The predators
    Government taxes

    You can change to a different bloodsucker who will drain you more slowly but drain you they will.
    Don't forget to put the points on your loyalty card 2 million for £5 discount

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    It amazes me the Government does nothing about this.

    Centrica boasts profits of millions if not billions per year and they are raising their prices? They can I guess because gas and electric are a necessity in our modern world.

    Elderly people's blood are on their hands... not that they will notice rubbing their hands in glee at the money coming in.


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