Millions of British Gas customers will be hit with price hikes of up to 12.5% from 15 September, the provider has announced today.
The increase is broken down into a 12.5% rise for electricity, while gas prices will remain the same.
This means electricity-only customers will be hit with a 12.5% price increase, while the average dual fuel customer will see prices rise by 7.3% (£76), taking the average standard variable tariff to £1,110.
The move affects 3.1 million customers, although British Gas says a further 5.3 million customers are unaffected. This is made up of customers on fixed deals, gas-only customers, customers on prepayment meters whose tariffs are subject to an Ofgem regulated price cap, and around 20,000 customers who receive the Warm Home Discount who will be credited £76 by British Gas to protect them from the price rise.
It’s the first-time British Gas has increased prices in four years, and it says the rise is needed to reflect the “increasing costs of energy policy, and delivery to customers’ homes”.
Mark Hodges, chief executive of Centrica Consumer – the parent company of British Gas – says: “We held off increasing prices for many months longer than most suppliers in order to protect our customers from rising costs, so it is a difficult decision to have to announce an increase in electricity prices. This rise reflects an underlying increase in policy and transmission costs.”
‘Seven in 10 households are overpaying: It’s time to switch’
The message from energy experts is not to rest on your laurels; check if you can switch and save now. Use our energy comparison tool to find the best deal for your home.
Claire Osborne, energy expert at price comparison website uSwitch, says: “Customers should not be lulled into a false sense of security. The British Gas standard tariff remains the cheapest among the Big Six but it is still £286 more expensive than the cheapest deal on the market today.
“It’s time to switch supplier and send a message that price rises like these just aren’t acceptable. Seven in 10 households are overpaying for their energy on expensive standard tariffs, yet within 10 minutes they could switch and save hundreds of pounds – as well as protect themselves against further hikes by fixing their tariff.”
Stephen Murray, energy expert at comparison website MoneySuperMarket, adds: “The summer months are a time when many people take their eye off their energy bills and there is a danger that millions of British Gas customers will miss this or shrug their shoulders in passive acceptance.
“But they will really feel the impact when the big winter bills start to come through and they are paying hundreds of pounds more than savvy consumers who have moved away from incredibly expensive standard tariffs.”
Are the other Big Six providers increasing prices?
Yes. Here’s what the other Big Six providers have announced:
- E.on: Increased electricity prices by 13.8% and gas prices by 3.8% from 26 April.
- EDF: Cut gas bills by up to 12.9% from 6 January but upped electricity prices by up to 8.4% from 1 March.
- Npower: Raised prices by an average of 10% from 16 March.
- Scottish Power: Increased electricity prices by an average of 10.8% and gas prices by 4.7% on average from 31 March.
- SSE: Hiked electricity prices by 14.9% from 28 April. Gas prices remain the same.
Households in Northern Ireland were hit with price hikes from 31 March as Firmus and SSE Airtricity increased prices by up to 12.2%.