British Gas to increase gas and electricity prices by 5.5%" width="976" height="549">
British Gas is to increase the energy prices for those on standard tariffs by an average of 5.5% - or
'Pressure on bills'
British Gas said it had to lift prices following a rise in the cost of producing energy - including wholesale costs.The company pointed to a similar decision by energy regulator Ofgem, which recently blamed wholesale costs for the rise in the default tariff for those with prepayment meters.Mark Hodges, chief executive of Centrica Consumer, of which British Gas is a part, said: "We fully understand that any price increase adds extra pressure on customers' household bills. This increase we are announcing today is reflective of the costs we are seeing which are beyond our control."He also blamed the extra charges it faced as part of government policy, such as the introduction of smart meters and emissions targets."Government policies, intended to transform the energy system, are important but they are putting pressure on customers' bills. We believe government should level the playing field so the customers of all suppliers pay a fair share of energy policy costs," Mr Hodges said."We continue to encourage government to consider moving these costs out of energy bills altogether and into general taxation."
Price comparison websites, which make money from customers switching suppliers, are predicting that other energy companies will follow the British Gas price rise.Stephen Murray, from Moneysupermarket, said: "No doubt we will see speculation on which supplier might follow and how consumers need protection from rip-off prices."Ed Molyneux, head of research for switching service Look After My Bills, said: "The data is clear, there is simply no justification for price hikes now, especially when British Gas put their prices up last year. Costs are still under the peak that triggered the first round price rises last year."
'Scrapping' standard variable tariffs
Energy firms have faced pressure from politicians over pricing, and the use of standard variable tariffs which have been deemed poor value for consumers.British Gas has scrapped standard variable tariffs for new customers - following similar moves by E.On and Scottish Power. Those British Gas customers already on fixed-term contracts who fail to opt for a replacement when the deal ends are now put on a separate default tariff.This so-called Temporary Tariff will also rise by ?60 on 29 May. At an average of ?1,136 a year, it is slightly cheaper than the standard variable tariff used by existing customers.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."Although it is not specifically raising energy prices, E.On recently announced changes to how it bills customers which will see the average standard variable tariff rate rise by ?22 a year from 19 April.
Are you a British Gas customer on a standard tariff? Let us know your reaction to this story by emailing include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
WhatsApp: +447555 173285
Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100
Or comment here:
Your contact details
Your E-mail address
Town & Country
Your telephone number
If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can
contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as
you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published.
When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others,
take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.
Terms and conditions
Personal finance
British Gas
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Январь 2019    »