British Gas’s price rise of 6% or £76 for gas and electricity comes into effect this Friday (16th November), bringing the average household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer up from £1,260 to £1,336 a year.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said: “This week the cold reality of winter price hikes starts to strike as British Gas customers face the sting of a 6% increase on their gas and electricity bills. The increase will push the average British Gas dual fuel bill up from £1,260 to £1,336 a year – which is £76 a year more.
“The timing could not be worse – as winter makes its presence known, the cost of heating our homes will be taking its toll on cash-strapped consumers.
“With bills reaching an all time high, it’s no surprise that almost nine in ten households (87%) will be rationing their energy usage this winter. This means that many will be potentially gambling with their health and well-being.”
“There are two simple steps that consumers can take to shield themselves from the impact of higher prices – use less energy and pay the lowest possible price for the energy they use,” says Ms Robinson.
“There are plenty of low-cost or even free insulation offers that people should be looking to take advantage of.
“Consumers must also take the bull by the horns and ensure that they are taking advantage of the most competitive deals available.
“With over £300 difference between the cheapest and the most expensive tariffs on the market, it is vital that consumers shop around.”
Which suppliers have raised their prices?
British Gas, EDF Energy, ScottishPower, npower and SSE all put their prices up in recent months, while E.ON is still bound by a price-freeze promise guaranteeing no price rises until January 2013. However, it is widely expected that it too will follow suit.
These increases in domestic energy prices brought the general price of energy in the UK up by an average of 7% or £90, which will force the average household energy bill up from £1,259 a year to £1,334.
Earlier this year, suppliers cut their prices around 2.7% on average, however this small reduction has been far outweighed by the recent increases.
Prices in the UK have been steadily rising and this is the second year in a row that the six biggest suppliers have announced a general price rise. This recent spate alone is expected to push 314,000 more households into fuel poverty.
Cost of the average household energy bills
Here’s a summary of the average change in bill prices by supplier:
British Gas – Learn all about the UK’s largest energy supplier.
Price changes – Keep up to date with the latest price changes.