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 490.

    #478 I also live in a large house (my choice).
    I only turn on the heating when its cold, I turn off lights and other appliances when not needed (although the wife and kids constantly moan at me). I've double insulated the roof space and invested in a a big log burning stove which heats the ground floor of my home for free.
    I live with ever larger bills, but that's the reality of life.

  • rate this

    Comment number 489.

    And what will the government do about these shameless cartels?
    The same as every other government, nothing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 488.

    Is it just me who realises that, these greedy Energy Companies always reduce their price around March/April when heating is not needed and then put them back up just before the winter? Am I missing the catch here!!!!!!!!! Where are the so called Consumer Watchdogs??

  • rate this

    Comment number 487.

    474 - Sickandtired

    According to a 2008 govt report I found, 1/3 of houses (7 million) don't have double glazing, Ridiculous. You say 'Oh yeah everyone's doing that' but 1 in 3 are not. You must have seen reports about the drop in petrol demand lately, a similar drop in demand for gas/elec can have only have positive effects on prices. You say 'collusion' but it's still a supply/demand market

  • Comment number 486.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 485.

    This is just taking the **** !!! I already can't afford to put my car on the road because I'm having to pay so much in gas, electric and council tax.... and now they put it up again!!!!! If I didn't have neighbours I would buy a small diesel generator... yes seriously !
    If Labour doesn't have a manifesto policy of renationalising then I will not be voting for them. Simple as that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 484.

    Maybe the heating in Westminster should be restricted to the number of hours a state pensioner could afford to use?

    Or how about Dave & Chums ride about all day on the busses just to keep warm like many do every winter now?

    Lets face it MPs get more in benefits from the taxpayer than any so called feckless unemployed person !

    Infrastructure Capitalism NEVER benefits the population!

  • rate this

    Comment number 483.

    And all because the 'efficient' private sector was too greedy to spend money on storage facilities where gas bought during the cheap summer months could be stored for the winter.

    And before anyone says that you cannot store natural gas - absolute rubbish because the technology has been used in shipping for years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 482.

    478. jjmbbcnews
    i live in quite a large house because I have to because there are 11 of us including 6 young children and my grandma
    Why have you got 6 young children if you are skint?

  • rate this

    Comment number 481.

    How can these organisations justify increases of 8% when the economy is totally screwed - we have cut-backs everywhere - no -one is getting pay increases and yet the govt will allow increases such as this to go ahead..
    How are we expected to pay for these increases? Especially as the government has rendered most of us unemployed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 480.

    Supply & Demand - The only winners will be Russia and other producers of fossil fuels as we are now a net importer of the means to generate our energy requirements.
    Investment in our own Nuclear power generation is the only way forward as wind, wave and energy from waste is a pipe dream.

  • rate this

    Comment number 479.

    This is outrageous. Let's have a good complain.

    Embarrassed to be part of a nation that lives like this.

    We are pathetic and helpless, and now because of mass ignorance, we're stuck here. Till we die. Don't kid yourself into thinking otherwise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 478.

    The energy companies will learn money is just paper when they run out of gas, i live in quite a large house because I have to because there are 11 of us including 6 young children and my grandma who has dementia, we have to have heating to keep alive, my mum (a widow) is quite literally keeping us alive with food and heating. I hope the energy companies can sleep at night in their nice warm houses

  • rate this

    Comment number 477.

    Tory party privatized British Gas ...

    Don't vote Tory ...

    Simples ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 476.

    For those of you who missed this onfo

    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.

  • rate this

    Comment number 475.

    472.Name Number 6
    "Well I didn't mean Dave and his mates in the City."

    Why not, they are members of this country just like anyone else or did you not mean what you said - "Run the country for the benefit of everyone"?

  • rate this

    Comment number 474.

    Mangoose. Most are already doing what you suggest (talk about stating the obvious) yet still struggle to pay the current bills, never mind when the increases come into force. Essentials are getting more expensive and income is stagnant or reducing....go figure

  • rate this

    Comment number 473.

    I.F. (Industrial Flatulence)

    It is in our best interest to positively abuse a National Grid (previously provided infrastructure PPI) which could in turn be the the next big PPI claim.

    If this happens, sorry, when this happens, we shall have earned enough to ignore the government, employ the best Barristers & leave it for the next generation.

    I.F. Caring for the future (if we have one)

  • rate this

    Comment number 472.

    463. Hampshireboy

    Tesco made £1.7bn profit in the first half of 2012 so get properly informed!
    Tesco doesn't just sell one product that virtually everyone needs.

    466. Mayna
    "Run the country for the benefit" - I take it you mean benefit of majority
    Well I didn't mean Dave and his mates in the City.

  • rate this

    Comment number 471.

    465 - Squirrel

    That's a shame. I think landlords that aren't giving what I would call 'the basics' (Double glazing, insulation) should be forced to subsidise your bills until they do.

    What also confuses me is how new houses are still being built, and they never have solar panels on. That's crazy!

    My work colleague got solar recently, during the day his electric meter spins backwards.


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