Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

British Gas to hike gas and electricity prices by 5.5 per cent

Centrica share price British Gas hikes default tariffs British Gas to hike gas and electricity prices by 5.5 per cent
Russell Knight | 10 April, 2018, 22:12

'We fully understand that any price increase adds extra pressure on customers' household bills.

However those that are on fixed-term tariffs that finish and are subsequently moved to a "temporary tariff" will also see the price they pay rise by £60, again from 29 May 2018.

The UK's biggest energy supplier blamed the hike on rising wholesale gas and electricity prices, and government policies such as renewable energy subsidies, which are paid through energy bills.

Comparison sites said the increase would be a "bolt from the blue" for millions, and other large suppliers could follow with their own rises.

Omar Rahim, chief executive at energy tech start-up Energi Mine, squared the increase against an energy system that incentivised companies to sell more energy at the highest possible price, rather than attaching more value to system flexibility. This increase we are announcing today is reflective of the costs we are seeing, which are beyond our control.

A report by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee found customers were paying £1.4bn a year more than they should be.

"This is a slap in the face for British Gas customers and it is clear the government is not acting quickly enough to stop it".

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Ed Molyneux, head of research at the firm, said: "The data is clear, there is simply no justification for price hikes now, especially when British Gas put its prices up previous year".

The increase comes as the government prepares to introduce a cap...

British Gas has scrapped standard variable tariffs for new customers - following similar moves by E.On and Scottish Power.

"Government policies, meant to transform the energy system, are important but they are putting pressure on customers" bills. We have seen other suppliers raise prices and Ofgem increase the level of the prepayment tariff cap largely due to increasing wholesale energy and Government policy costs. However, this will increase by £60 to £1,136, just £25 less than the standard tariff.

It's not the first energy firm to push up costs this year, in March E.On announced that over 2 million customers on its standard tariff will see bills go up by up to £50 a year.

Centrica's Mr Hodges said: "We also continue to call on Ofgem to end the standard variable tariff across the market which would encourage customers to proactively seek the best energy deal for them". Last week Ofgem confirmed that British Gas was going to be able to leave customers on its standard tariff, even though it was ceasing signing up new customers.

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