Gas and electricity Updated:
Customers of British Gas are set to see their dual-fuel energy bills rise by an average of 9.2%, it was announced this morning.
The news comes in the wake of SSE announcing an 8.2% increase last week, making British Gas the second of the big six energy companies to reveal pre-winter price hikes.
Nearly 8 million households are set to be affected by the increase, which include an 8.4% rise in gas prices and a 10.4% rise in electricity, which could see the average annual dual-fuel bill go up by as much as £123. As with SSE, the higher rates are said to be due to a combination of the increasing cost of buying wholesale energy and delivering it to customers, as well as the cost of various Government "green" levies.
Ian Peters, managing director of British Gas Residential Energy, has said it isn't a decision that's been taken lightly and that the company "understands the frustrations" of bills rising faster that incomes, but says that "what is pushing up energy prices at the moment are costs that are not all directly under our control."
Energy minister Ed Davey has described the latest rise as "extremely disappointing" and suggested that consumers should consider switching energy suppliers. But, with the domino effect already beginning, they need to do it quickly.
Mark Todd, director of price comparison service energyhelpline, agrees, and urges consumers to switch to a low-cost fixed-rate tariff. He says:
"This is devastating news for energy customers. The hike is at the higher end of expectations and more than SSE's.
"Only you can make a difference, by switching to a low cost fix - though now you probably have literally days to do it.
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