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 250.

    Same time every year..when demand goes up they like to stick it up the consumer for maximum profit...Hmmm, I wonder if they might drop them again around March?

  • rate this

    Comment number 249.


    "Cold homes will kill up to 200 older people a day, warns Age UK. Age UK's special adviser for policy, Mervyn Kohler, asked: "Why is this not a national scandal?" There were 26,156 excess winter deaths during 2009-10, with figures for 2010-11 to be published next month"

    As Dave says "We are all in this together".

  • rate this

    Comment number 248.

    Ah, that's nice. Thank you British Gas, for once again raising the prices right before the winter and colder, longer nights. It is always nice to see that big multi-national companies ensure the well being of their shareholders with increased dividends before considering the effect their price rises will have on the elderly and people who haven't had a pay rise in 2 years!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 247.

    why do we run out of gas? hello north sea anyone. as for electricity going up I blame the NIMBY as the greens. let cut them all off them the rest of will have the power we need. I would not mine a windy turbine by me at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 246.

    BG's profits rose a meagre 23% in the first half of this year to £345m.

    Centrica's profits were up to nearly £1.5bn for the same period.

    Seems to me that not all businesses are struggling right now. Still, I guess all those small business owners who are going to be hit by this price rise are reassured that we are all in this together.

  • Comment number 245.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 244.

    Do any of you think, that those with the power to change the way things are, even bother to read what is written here?
    Of course not.
    The only power that can affect what we write, is the editor, or the Bad Language Recognition Machine.
    But, it is good to have somewhere to vent your spleen occasionally.
    Thanks BBC.
    I'm off to the kitchen for a cuppa and a fag.
    Libera te tutemet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 243.

    As has been pointed out in other posts, there is no point in switching because the suppliers up their prices together.
    But I think there is a way for customers to take control. Select just one of the big suppliers and switch any from them on mass. The panic that such organised mass action would cause might change the behaviour of all the suppliers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 242.

    Throughout the winter months lets not forget the elderly or those in their 'golden years' and vulnerable to the weather.

    Hope that explains my comment at 211, Moderators.

  • rate this

    Comment number 241.

    Not rocket science is it. China, if allowed, would consume ALL natural resources the world has to offer and more.

    One thing for sure, fuel prices are not going to get cheaper. Better get used to it.

    Sad thing is that since the 1970's if 1% of the North Sea revenues had been used for science/development/renewable sources we wouldn't be in this mess now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    Simple message to the government:

    Choose a side.

    The corporations or the people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    The cost of running my stately home is ridiculous, really.

    One is going to take a bigger bonus next year to cover the increases plus a little extra for the stress involved.

  • Comment number 238.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    At least we have competition from the Co-op now with Co-operative Energy not only better prices, and better service, but for benefit of customers not shareholders, and they are holding prices until at least next summer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    And this after a 23% rise in profits from last year.?

    Energy companies have nothing but contempt for its customers and those that criticise them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 235.

    They're all in it together. This is a monopoly and the government just stand by and do nothing. Then again we have a Tory led government that sold it to them years ago. When will it stop?

    Looks like we're heading back to all living in one room with a woodburner, watching one TV, sharing a bath and making meals that last a week. So much for progress.

  • rate this

    Comment number 234.

    The problem is that all our utility companies are now foreign-owned - thanks to the last conservative government selling them off to the highest bidder. They couldn't give a damn about the British consumer.

    This latest price-hike is appalling and totally unacceptable. My bus and train fares have recently increased, now my utility bills are going up...but not my wages. How can this be right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    BA, British gas, BT

    Just look at royal mail? post offices shutting for lunch??? sorting offices that close at noon?? pensions out of control?? post in an afternoon if your lucky??

    Yep nationalisation is the way to go........... DOH!!!!!! lol

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    Where's Cameron on this one?

    Instead of beating up the unemployed and those on welfare how about actually doing something to reduce the burden on the average punter?

    Start by telling this bunch of robbers that it not on when they have made huge profits.

    Cuts the cost of transport, child care and food by capping profits.

    Create some money for people to spend in the economy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    Wonder how much arm twisting was done to prevent BG execs announcing this price rise while the tory conference was on.


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