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 370.

    I can see that the left wing brigade have pounced on me. Not surprising.

    I stand by my comments on overpopulation. People need to stop moaning about private companies raising prices because more people are demanding their product. Same with our water supply and look what happened this summer. We had a "drought" during weeks of continuous rain because too many people live on our tiny island

  • rate this

    Comment number 369.

    The general public delude themselves generally and keep absorbing the incremental greed of those companies & organisations which control the real power, metaphorically speaking too. Commerce & government control society & operate a systematic cartel. It never ceases me how they keep getting away with it, from property (Estate Agents) to finances ('Bankers') and of course, Utility providers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 368.

    I find it totally unbelievable that the only people classed as vulnerable are ELDERLY people who get £400 to pay for fuel bills a year plus other benefits. When DISABLED and ILL YOUNGER people do not get any help at all. I know many pensioners where I live use the extra money to boost their savings ISA. Very vulnerable!

  • rate this

    Comment number 367.

    If they're supposed to just be covering the rise in wholesale prices could someone please explain why BG profits are likely to soar as a result?

    Am I missing something?

  • rate this

    Comment number 366.

    We have to remember what "DAVE" said - "we're all in this together" so smile sweetly and think of England - we are ALL taking one (and then another and then ... and ....) for the team......

  • rate this

    Comment number 365.

    351. PulpGrape
    Thats not evidence, thats just the usual old ''I know someone that'' nonsense.

  • rate this

    Comment number 364.

    Dear Mr Cameron,

    I have worked all my life and I now find that since you came to power I am at the point where I can't afford to work. You see, Gas and Electric has gone up again, food prices are through the roof, water has gone up, car insuranse has rocketed, petrol is soaring and my wages haven't increased. All the while you give my taxes away to foreigner states. From a striver. Help!

  • Comment number 363.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 362.


    ''...Keeping warm: Use a few extra blankets at night
    Electric: Don't waste your electric watching TV, or using computers. Turn off all appliances when not in use...''

    Thanks for the tips - where did you get them from? An idiots guide to stating the bleeding obvious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 361.

    How much is the price rise needed to maintain profits as the public insulates and tries to cut usage? If profits are to be maintained as use falls then it obvious prices have to rise. Centrica and Brotish Gas are the same group so if Centrica increases wholesale price it is obvious BG will say they have to increase price. It is bad enough for domestic sales but this will not help industry either.

  • rate this

    Comment number 360.

    "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.."

    No wonder people want "people on benefits" to get cut if they believe this sort of tripe. The best you can get is the reduced Social Tariff - severely means tested and often age-restricted as well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 359.

    Thanks to 331. JUANCOLINA for linking that. I didn't realise that British ownership of energy supplies was in the minority. No wonder we're in so much trouble when we're being bled dry from overseas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 358.

    Said it before:

    Privatisation is daylight robbery.

    At the very least, private companies running our utilities, railways and NHS hospitals should by law publish their profits, executive pay, bonuses etc front and centre of every piece of literature and should be the first question before every media interview.

    Only then can we know for certain how much we're being robbed.

  • Comment number 357.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 356.

    If you don't want to pay rip off prices to the suppliers don't use their supplies.
    Keeping warm: Use a few extra blankets at night.
    Cooking: Cook meals that will last you for a few days in a row.
    Electric: Don't waste your electric watching TV, or using computers. Turn off all appliances when not in use.

  • rate this

    Comment number 355.


    I love British gas ( sarcasm ) moderate that one
    I [CENSORED] moderate that one

  • Comment number 354.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 353.


    Can anyone tell him where he can emigrate to, a country which does NOT need Centeral heating in winter or Air Conditioning in the summer.


  • Comment number 352.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 351.


    Dont need to. A neighbour has smugly boasted that he pays £100 per month capped for his electricity and gas because he's on income support. I found this out by asking why his exterior fan and boiler were on all day and night. Unlimited supply for limited price. Perfect example of over consumption by overpopulation.


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