Gas and electricity Updated:
Gas and electricity customers are bracing themselves for price rises, with the British Gas increase to come into effect tomorrow.
It will be the second time in nine months that British Gas has increased prices for residential customers who can expect their bills to cost them a quarter more than in December last year.
Gas prices for British Gas customers are to rise by 18% and 16% for electricity, with the average yearly bill coming in at £1,286.
It is not just British Gas that is increasing prices, with five of the 'Big Six' energy suppliers having already increased prices or being set to do so in the near future.
Scottish Power implemented its price increases at the beginning of August, while E.ON and SSE customers will see their bills increased from 13 September and 14 September respectively.
Npower announced that is also to increase prices, with the changes to come into force from 1 October.
Just EDF Energy has not announced a 2011 increase in energy prices as of yet.
The announcement has been described as the 'latest chapter in a cruel summer for energy customers.'
"This move makes it a truly horrendous week for energy customers bearing in mind the British Gas rise, announced recently, comes into force on Thursday," said Mark Todd, director of Energyhelpline.com.
"Npower are the fifth of the "Big Six" players to raise their prices recently leaving only EDF to announce an increase and it is surely only a matter of time before that happens.
"Consumers are struggling to comprehend the scale of these rises and some are calling us in desperation and with little idea of how they will pay their winter fuel bills.
"However, customers need to take matters into their own hands if they want to spare themselves the pain of further price rises.
"They can switch to a fixed tariff in a matter of moments by contacting a price comparison website online or on the phone and save more than £600 over the next three years."
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