Press release:

3 million British Gas customers face 12.5% electricity bill hike

  • The UK’s biggest energy supplier, British Gas, is to hike electricity prices by 12.5% or £76 from 15 September[1], blaming rising policy and network costs
  • A typical dual fuel customer will see their bills rise from £1044 to £1120 a year – the equivalent of £235m across the country[1]
  • The rise follows an extended price freeze[1]
  • Customers can save up to £618[2] by switching to a competitive fixed deal.

Following an extended price freeze, British Gas has today announced that it is hiking the cost of its standard variable tariff for electricity by 12.5% or £76 a year[1] for 3.1 million customers[1].

The increase, which takes effect from 15 September[1] will add an annual total of £235.6 million to its customers’ energy bills[3]. While it remains the cheapest big six standard tariff it is still £286 more expensive than the cheapest deal available today[4]. British Gas has also announced that it will give a one-off credit £76 to the accounts of more than 200,000 vulnerable customers who receive the Warm Home Discount[1].

Commenting on the news, Claire Osborne, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “With these hikes set to kick in just before the winter, this is a body blow for consumers. At a time when living costs are rising faster than wages[5], this hike could push many families into the red. Customers should not be lulled into a false sense of security. The British Gas standard tariff remains the cheapest among the big six but it is still £286 more expensive that the cheapest deal on the market today.

“It’s time to switch supplier and send a message that price rises like these just aren’t acceptable. Seven in ten households[6] 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.”

Table 1: Major energy suppliers’ price rises in 2017

Supplier Previous SVT price New SVT price Difference Comes into effect from
British Gas £1,044 £1,120 £76 7.3% 15 September
EDF Energy £1,069 £1,160 £91 8.5% 11 February and 21 June
npower £1,077 £1,187 £109 9.8% 16 March
ScottishPower £1,081 £1,167 £86 7.8% 31 March
E.ON £1,057 £1,144 £87 8.8% 26 April
SSE £1,056 £1,129 £73 6.9% 28 April

Source: uSwitch.com. Correct as of 1 August, 2017

Based on all bills paying by Direct Debit using medium dual fuel consumption as defined by Ofgem.

 

— ends —

Notes to editors

  1. https://www.centrica.com/news/centrica-plc-british-gas-standard-tariff-increase-Aug17
  2. Between 1 June 2016 and 30 November 2016, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £618 or more.
  3. 3.1 million customers x £76 = £235.6 million
  4. Cheapest deal is IRESA Flex4 Standard Direct Debit at £834. British Gas new SVT is £1120.
  5. https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/minimum-income-standard-uk-2017 / ONS Consumer Prices Index: May 2017
  6. 65% of energy customers are on SVTs. Figure is based on 26 million customers and account data for the large and medium suppliers, stripping out double counting for dual fuel customers. 65% of 26 million customers is 16.9 million customers. [Source: Ofgem Retail Energy Markets report].

About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

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