Energy Minister Ed Davy reacted to news that British Gas would be raising its gas and electricity prices by an average of 9.2%, by telling consumers to find a cheaper supplier.
He added that the energy supplier needs to explain the latest price rise “openly and transparently.”
British Gas blames increased costs for rise
The energy supplier, which issued a statement in May promising to use increased profits to keep costs low for as long as possible, has blamed higher wholesale energy prices, distribution charges and green levies for the rise.
Around this time last year, the big six increased their prices by between 6% and 10.8%.
Price rises expected across the board
Despite the criticism levelled at both British Gas and SSE for raising energy prices, industry analysts expect the remainder of the big six energy companies to implement hikes in the coming weeks.
SSE was the first of the big six to reveal a rise in gas and electricity prices when it issued a press release last week. The energy supplier announced a price rise of 8.2%, which will come in to effect as of 15 November 2013.
Shadow Energy Secretary, Caroline Flint, said this latest price hike is proof that Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze pledge is a necessity.
Not all suppliers are raising prices
First Utility, the UKs largest independent energy supplier, has pledged not to hike charges this winter. The company’s CEO said the pledge should be seen as a challenge to the big six, who currently supply close to 98% of the UK’s households.