Gas and electricity Updated:
British Gas has announced that some of its customers will face a 7% rise in the cost of their gas and electricity from next month. The increase will affect around eight million British Gas customers that are on standard and variable tariffs.
British Gas said the decision was a result of a 25% rise in the wholesale cost of gas since the spring. Other network charges and environmental obligations are rising too, it is claimed.
The price rise will not be applied to the company's most vulnerable customers – those on its Essentials package – until 1 April 2011. In addition, some 1.6 million customers on fixed price deals will see no change in the way their bills are priced.
"We know that rising energy process comes at a difficult time for many in Britain," acknowledged Phil Bentley, managing director of British Gas.
It is the second price rise announced by one of the UK's main energy suppliers, after Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said it would be increasing its domestic gas tariffs.
Similarly to British Gas, SSE said that the changes were driven by the increased wholesale energy costs. By contrast, EDF Energy has pledged to keep its standard tariffs fixed over the winter.
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