British Gas has announced a price rise of 5.5%, effective from 29 May 2018, stating rising wholesale costs.
This price rise affects the unit rates of its Standard Variable Tariff, which acts as a default tariff for its customers; those who have never switched, or those who haven't switched in the last year, are likely to be the ones to have increased energy costs. Check your British Gas bill to see if you're one of these customers on their standard tariff.
The price change increases the rates for both gas and electricity by 5.5%; this equates to an extra £60 a year in energy costs for the 4.1 million dual-fuel customers on British Gas' Standard Variable Tariff.
The combined average cost to consumers will be £246million.
Just two days after British Gas' announcement, big six supplier EDF has also revealed a price rise for its Standard Variable Tariff, of 1.4%, effective from June 7th.
This will increase bills by an average of £16 a year for dual fuel customers, and affects 41% of their customer base.
The danger now is that more price rises are on the way — the remaining big six suppliers could continue this trend.
British Gas' SVT now comes in a huge £369* more a year more expensive than the cheapest tariff available on the energy market.
Some of the most competitive rates to be had are on fixed rate energy deals, which lock in the unit rates you'll pay for the next 12 months (or possibly more depending on the plan). This means you wouldn't be affected by any price rise for the specified duration of a particular tariff.
Customers can send the clearest message that they won't tolerate being taken for a ride with price rises by switching supplier to one of these cheaper tariffs, with savings of up to £491 on offer for households with higher usage.
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*Cheapest tariff as of 10 April 2018 is Utility Point at £792. £1,161 - £792 = £369