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 350.

    Would this be the benefit scrounging feckless fake disabled thief who spends all day in the betting shop or the pub drinking and smoking whilst their children run riot and they watch free sky TV after driving in their free luxury car to McDonald's drive through free of course,you should be ashamed stating that benefit claimants have their energy free outrageous and offensive

  • rate this

    Comment number 349.

    That's the price of privatisation I'm afraid. People are quite happy to slate the public sector as being inefficient but then again complain about the cost of services provided by the private sector. Trouble is Cameron wants to privatise everything (NHS, Roads etc.) and soon we won't be left with any public owned services. Welcome to the ConDem's Brave New World.

  • rate this

    Comment number 348.

    3 Hours ago

    Our bills are only going one way and that is up, regardless of any "energy efficiencies" we try to make.

    Of course they will - if / when we reduce usage they will put up prices to maintain their absolute £ profit amount.

  • rate this

    Comment number 347.

    Domestic prices going up whilst, wholesale gas prices are down, sounds like Reverse Robin Hood” to me there’s no excuse what so ever!

    Personally the people should demand re-nationalisation of all energy companies, so buying power is unified so we get cheaper imports, and we only have a few tariffs.

    Privatisation has failed the country, whilst helping the fat cats get cholesterol.

  • rate this

    Comment number 346.

    340. pickmypocket

    Time to emigrate
    NO its not, its time to stand up and fight.

  • rate this

    Comment number 345.


    "!Also people on benefits have bills capped so in theory someone can be using an unlimited amount of electricity and gas and pay no more than £100. This too is wrong."

    What a load of utter nonsense, post one link with evidence of this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 344.

    It's immoral to turn a profit out of a fundmental human need. Simple as that. The shareholders of British Gas will have the distress of every pensioner that can't afford their heating this winter on their conscience. Disgusting.

  • rate this

    Comment number 343.


    This is NOT in the National interest. These price rises need to be CURBED, or we will never get out of this Recession. They made massive profits earlier this year. The government might give the power companies a one off Windfall Profits Tax to fill the treasuries pockets. How the HELL does it help the UK public. Cut Prices or Power Companies should be NATIONALISED.


  • rate this

    Comment number 342.

    "If the Government really cared about those that elected them they would take immediate action to curtail these senseless raises..." wrote another poster. But they don't. They have proven again and again that they are only interested in helping the well off. The rest of us can go to hell for all they care.

  • rate this

    Comment number 341.

    We can as consumers move our energy supplier to other companies that offer better deals. Time to vote with our feet. Help elderly neighbours switch!

  • rate this

    Comment number 340.

    Time to emigrate

  • rate this

    Comment number 339.

    Fossil fuels are running out and demand is increasing so it stands to reason that prices will increase. Why, in that case, are we not doing more to reduce our dependence on gas and oil? Now is the time that we need to be pushing ahead with renewable energy. If we do not invest now, it will be too late years down the line.

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    In order to control things you have to be "Bad"

    You even have to smile when you are sticking the "knife in" its custom made for a guy without conscience & the league of worshipping suckers.

  • Comment number 337.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    @ Andrew-R "No-one likes price increases of any kind": Oh really? House prices go down...travesty. Comments of the market "recovering", i.e increasing in price is seen as postive. Energy price increase is seen as negative. Every wonder why we the economy is in the state it's in, when our main "industry" since 1997 has been trying to sell shoe box houses to each other at ever increasing costs?

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    They raised my bill this year although i was in huge credit, i'm now even more in credit and they want to raise it again. Guess i'll have to claw back my money and go shopping around for new supplier.

    Bunch of Jokers!

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    I love British gas ( sarcasm ) moderate that one

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    Overpopulation = soaring demand for decreasing supply so why the uproar against increased prices? It's logical.

    Either get a grip on population i.e demand or come to terms that the upward trend in prices is here to stay.

    Also people on benefits have bills capped so in theory someone can be using an unlimited amount of electricity and gas and pay no more than £100. This too is wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    3rd march 2012...

    "'Your bills are low', British Gas boss Phil Bentley tells customers"

    Well, he's certainly fixed that little problem now hasn't he. It would be interesting to hear Cameron and Osbornes take on this nice little racket. Still, the champions of cartels can afford the prices the cartels charge, unlike Joe public. The 'we're all in this together' governments days are numbered.

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    Who owns our energy companies?

    Have a look you might be surprised and annoyed and worried.

    Also you might like to ask how our "Red Ping - Blue Pong" inept MPs in Westminster allowed this to happen.


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