British Gas announces price rise of 9.2%, effective from 23 November 2013
The price rise will push up British Gas prices 8.4% on gas and 10.4% on electricity, or £125 a year. The news comes just one week after SSE's announcement that it will increase its own prices by 8.2%.
What uSwitch say about the British Gas price rise
Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch expressed the disappointment British Gas customers will feel after the big six supplier hinted that it would not be raising prices this year after announcing a big profit:
“Today’s price hike will be seen by many as a broken promise after the supplier suggested in May that it would use the extra profits it made last winter to hold off from any price hikes.
"British Gas customers have had the rug pulled from under their feet and I suspect that many will be feeling let down and betrayed. Adding a further £125 to an already sky-high energy bill will leave many buckling, but the real damage will be to trust.
“Now that Britain’s two biggest suppliers have announced there is nothing to stop the others from following suit. The question now is whether it will be a trickle or a stampede. However, the fact is that households will be struggling to afford to keep warm this winter.
“If you want to protect yourself then the time for action is now. There are some great fixed price deals on the market which can protect you from price hikes for anything up to four winters. This protection could be extremely valuable for those on a tight budget and could make all the difference in being able to afford to keep warm. As well as reducing the cost of your energy, now is also the time to reduce the amount you use – not by going cold, but by making your home as energy efficient as possible.”
How are British Gas justifying the hike?
British Gas Managing Director, Ian Peters, followed SSE's tact of blaming subsidies and the wholesale market for the rise:
"We haven’t taken this decision lightly, but what’s pushing up energy prices at the moment are costs ... such as the global price of energy, charges that we have to pay for using the national grid ... and the cost of the Government’s social and environmental programmes."
What can energy consumers do to beat British Gas price rises?
Those worried about switching only to be subjected to a price rise from another supplier should consider fixing their energy costs. Fixed price deals allow you to lock in your gas and electricity rates for up to four winters.