All six of the largest UK energy suppliers have now raised prices in 2017. E.ON, ScottishPower, npower, EDF Energy and SSE have all had price rises come into effect this year, and now British Gas has announced it will be raising prices for standard plan customers too.
BG is the latest supplier to announce their price hike of 12.5% for electricity, meaning an average rise of 7.5% for dual fuel, variable rate customers — effectively adding £235.6 million to its customers’ energy bills.
The increase is set to take effect from 15th September, and follows an extended price rise put in place by the supplier earlier this year.
British Gas have defended the decision:
"We’ve held off making an increase for as long as possible, and for many months after other suppliers significantly raised their prices."
The supplier puts the increase in price down to rising costs — "among them Government policies to subsidise renewable energy, social levies, delivery to customers’ homes, and the nationwide smart metering programme."
Standard variable tariffs (SVTs) act as a supplier's default tariff, and are often the most expensive option — these are also the plans that are subject to price rises.
2017 price rises — new average annual cost of dual-fuel standard tariffs:
Fixed deals however, lock in the unit rates of your gas and electricity for the duration of the deal, often 12 months. Once this deal comes to an end, it's likely that your supplier will roll you back onto their default tariff — that's when it's time to pick a new deal again.
Claire Osborne, energy expert at uswitch says:
"It’s time switch supplier and send a message that price rises like these just aren’t acceptable.
"Seven in ten households are overpaying for their energy on expensive standard tariffs, yet within ten minutes they could switch and save hundreds of pounds – as well as protect themselves against further hikes by fixing their tariff."
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