Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken out against British Gas for raising gas and electricity prices and called on unhappy consumers to change energy supplier.
British Gas, which raised its prices by 9.2% yesterday, has partially blamed government taxes for the increase.
The price hike follows a similar move by energy supplier SSE, which raised prices by 8.2%. The remainder of the big six energy suppliers, E.ON, EDF, npower and Scottish Power, are also expected to raise prices.
‘We’re going to have a simpler system’
Speaking to BBC radio about the price hikes, Cameron said: “Well I think these are very disappointing announcements by British Gas. There are things we can do. We are intervening because we’re legislating to say these companies have to put their customers onto the lowest tariff.
“I think a lot of customers find it utterly baffling how many tariffs they have so we’re going to have a simpler system.”
Customers can ‘switch their electricity or gas bill from one supplier to another’
Cameron added: “But there’s something everyone can do which is to look to switch their electricity or gas bill from one supplier to another and on average this can help people save sometimes as much as £200 on their bills.
“So I’d encourage customers who are not happy with the service they’re getting and not happy with the prices to go to the switching sites online and see whether they can get a better deal.”
‘Cameron is only speaking for the energy companies’
Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint, feels the government is not doing enough to protect consumers from energy price rises.
Commenting on the issue she said: “[The government] were asked an hour ago in the House of Commons if we saw unreasonable price hikes would they tackle this and freeze the bill, and the answer was ‘no’.
“Well, Labour is going to stand up for the public on this one – we will challenge the energy companies, and we will change the market. This government, this prime minister, David Cameron, is only speaking for the energy companies.”