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 190.

    I can believe that in 2012 we are still paying the price for Thatcher's disastrous policies. Utility are Rail privatization has been a catastrophe, they need to be taken back in to public ownership right away.

    History is judging Thatcher more badly by the day.

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.



  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    didnt take long for somebody to stare blaming the last labour government well oldboy this government is capable of doing anything it wants and if it wanted to introduce legislation or start a inquiry by ofgem it could but guess what they couldn't care about us remember there spreading the privilege of only the wealthy having a warm home they care only for their wealthy party donors

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    No-one likes price increases of any kind - especially understandable when they're completely different to any changes to income.
    So we have to grin and bear it I suppose.
    The unfairest element seems to be that the rate change is made on an estimated meter reading - so perhaps the best thing to do is for everyone to contact their supplier on the day their rate changes with an accurate reading.

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    A disgrace and the government sit on their hands and do nothing but tut into their champagne breakfasts

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    Rising cost of energy is due to increased demand worldwide and the move towards 'green' energy will have an impact in the short to medium term.
    Sorry but this is reality, we can listen to fools who like to ignore it, like the last 'government'.
    Out countries energy policy, like the majority of La La Labours policies, is a mess which this lot will have to sort out (like the rest of the mess).

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    One word. Nationalisation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    Look on the bright side - petrol is dirt cheap and not overtaxed in the slightest, wages are rising way faster than inflation, food prices are falling and low interest rates are being passed onto mortage holders.

    NURSE! He's flipped again!

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    My anxiety about this is there isn't one political party I would be happy to vote for but if I don't vote I can't complain can I but they're all just as bad and turn a blind eye & what worries me even more is that people are getting genuinely and quite reasonably angry. Whats next riots and carnage? Somethings got to give and we've got nothing left to give? My belts so tight I'm choking!

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    Chairman and Chief Exec of Centrica both part of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Group. Fill in the blanks yourself.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    In the last round of rises my supplier kept the per unit rate (over which I have usage control) about the same, but hiked the daily standing charge (over which I have no control) by 20%. Rising wholesale gas pipes was it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    @150 mDavid

    "...Did public ownership work in the USSR, or even in the UK in the 70s?..."
    Well it does seem to work OK when the private sector cocks it up: RBS and other banks; East Coast Rail; let's go back a number of years: Rolls Royce. They all run to "Nanny" when it goes pear shaped.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    Disgusting. I'm on ESA with 2 kids and can barely afford to heat the house on gas for an hour in the morning on a meter - how can the government talk of cutting benefits when utility prices - by far our biggest outlay (dont drink or smoke or have Sky). The government should cap prices not let this lot get away with making billions of profits and paying their bigwigs salaries of millions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    Thank Tony Blair and Labour. We were always going to have to pay to replace our ageing infrastructure but we didn't have to sign up to the european emmision targets at the same time that are now crippling consumers. Thank Margret Beckett for the fact we dont have new nuclear power stations producing cheaper clean power. Labour need I say more!

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    Pay Freeze - no pay and you freeze!

    You have to remember inflation is only a guideline - used mainly for limiting the amount employers have to pay as wage rises. Of course it is only used when you can't get away with a Pay Freeze due to say a depression.

    As captain Barbosa would say " they are not so much rules, more sort of guidelines" which is what British Gas is doing, 8% suits us AArgh

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    we have cheaper gas and electric than either France or Germany, in fact we have some of the cheapest in Europe. The problem lays in the fact the whole world now wants power. Anyone wanting to re nationalise really? Younger than 40 then (70's power cuts).

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    Funny old world. Suddenly whole sale prices go up, these companies have rising cost and prices shoot up like a rocket!!! Funny how we never hear about falling costs and if we do prices come down like a feather!!!! I expect the government will not be to bothered as most of them are either share holders or directors in theses companies!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    Food is essential, clothes too. Maybe we should nationalise farms and supermarkets!

    Perhaps the competition which you claim doesn't exist is what stops the prices going up earlier? Unbelievable! Utilities lost money last winter, but were afraid to be the first to raise prices. But we all like to ignore facts that don't suit us.

    Would you have a job were your company not to operate for profit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    I reckon that we should save on fuel bills by huddling together to exchange body warmth.

    I calling dibs on Kelly Brook & Cheryl Cole...

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    A bit of a generalisation there DavidinUSA! Public sector workers are often very low paid & often have to deal with the victims of free enterprise. USSR was not public ownership rather (corrupt) state (government/party) ownership. Also how would you define 'work'? There may have been less profit for a minority but thats not making something 'work'. surely its about the wellbeing of the majority?


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