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 210.

    "tell sid",what next bash a postie.already the royal mail is being demonised and made to look inadequate,.ripe for much can the ordinary people take.meanwhile do you think cameron etc are wearing an extra layer.or that sinister man boris we all love a serial adulterer,toff from henley.he must make the ladies he is an ugly inbred...i predict a riot

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    They can afford to pay engineers £15 a time for getting customers to accept a price comparison call. With the promise of hundreds off bills if they sign up. That is 8000 engineers targeted with x2 energy leads a week. So we all rang round family and friends encouraged by management so they could meet there targets, quids in

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    They can still pay engineers £15. for getting customer to accept a phone call for price comparison, With promise of hundreds off energy bill once signed up . 8000 engineers, all targeted with x2 energy leads a week. I like every other engineer rang round family and friends quids in. And managers encouraged this to meet there targets. it pays my gas bill..

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    If the Government realy cared about those that elected them they would take immediate action to curtail these sensless raises that will effect the economy long term as it leaves less for the average person to spend. .It is a shame that price drops do not happen at the pace of raises,toothless/spineless OFCOM.

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    I am totally fed up keep hearing Ministers saying that the way consumers should respond to energy price hikes is to switch suppliers. The idea that there is a UK competitive energy market is a hokus pokus Thatcherite dope smoking delusion. Gas prices are linked to the price of oil which in turn is set by an untouchable foreign cartel. Switching suppliers is a zero sum game.

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    Stop worrying. Haven't you heard: it's RIP to RPI and they'll leave out energy, so inflation will soon be lower.

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    we need a robin hood......someone to save us!

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    It's time for everybody to come clean on what is happening here.for example British gas are putting up prices despite their inflated profit the same time the government is forcing up prices with so called green policies which are taking us the meantime a lot of old people will probably die this winter because they can't afford to heat their homes properly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    I don't think anyone on the Centrica board is going to struggle with these price rises.

    Average £1million/year for the Chief Exec and Exec Directors in 2011 (and that's before they get the dividends on the millions of shares they hold).

    I think that qualifies as greed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.


    TheTories have cut subsidies for homeowners to fit solar panels etc so you are talking absolute nonsense. Don't blame Labour for Thatcher in case you didn't know she isTory!

  • Comment number 200.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    Its just a con, ever since they started trading energy speculators have driven the price not availability.....gas at any given moment should be the same cost in all european countries but when one looks at price rises they are not the same as here ?

    they try to say its because some countries store it but that shouldnt matter too much and we do have storage here but no incentive to use it

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    184 Kluckia 1

    three words back: clueless, under forty

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    There is a rumour that you can use less gas and save money.

    This is sadly short termist, the firm has a profit level it must maintain to deliver profits acceptable to the shareholders. If you use less you force them to raise prices to maintain profit level.

    Using more its just as bad. Increased demand means cornering more of the futures market in global gas prices - pushing up costs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    And in next year's news, British Gas announce record profits for the umpteenth year running.

    This is ridiculous, every year before the cold sets in they do the same thing. Yet again the poor and vulnerable will suffer. Proof this world is being held to ransom by evil men. All involved need eradicating from the face of this planet, nothing but greed motivates these increases.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    fiver say we have a torrid winter now. mind you im a BG customer and manage to control my gas to 18 quid a month, with a family of 5. yes we cook, wash etc. apply as much control to your usage and you can keep things down

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    Ok enough is enough and the government need to step in and stop this, funny how they do it in time for winter, with all these new gas stations online, waste to energy power, wind farms, new gas pipe lines and liquid gas coming in energy prices should be falling like a rock.

    This is corruption and the number 1 thing that is stopping new business start ups and closing down is high energy prices.

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Its called a cartel, there is no real competition in energy distribution. Look at the timetable of rises and falls above, if this was any other industry they'd be in jail.
    It's an oligopoly, restrictive trade practices (collusion, market sharing etc.) to raise prices and restrict production.

    But call it what you like, it still stinks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    Soon only the rich will be able to afford it re Elec or Gas and what is 10 Downing St doing or saying nothing !! they want us poor to feed off the scraps to go back to Dickensian days and it will sooner than you think with the Tories in power !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    168 koolkarmauk

    I respect your opinion but most of our gas, since North Sea Gas started to run out, is now purchased from the Middle East or Russia who sell on the global market. There are 1.5 billion people that consume like us in the west which is 50 times more than
    poorer countries who all aspire to be like us. We are now competing with China for our resources and food will go up as well.


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