British Gas to raise prices by 9.2%
The UK’s biggest energy firm said that it ‘understands the frustration’ of households who are struggling to keep up with rising energy costs despite stagnating household incomes.
Ian Peters from British Gas said: “…what’s pushing up energy prices at the moment are costs that are not all directly under our control, such as the global price of energy, charges that we have to pay for using the national grid that delivers energy to the home, and the cost of the Government’s social and environmental programmes.
According to analysis by MoneySupermarket.com, British Gas has increased prices by £204 since November 2012.
This comes following SSE’s announcement that it was hiking its prices by 8.2% on domestic bills from 15 November.
Clare Francis, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket.com, said: “And it won’t stop there. We can expect the other four major providers – EDF, e.on, npower and Scottish Power – to also announce price hikes over the coming weeks. But the good news is there are things people can do to beat the price hikes and encouragingly the early signs are that many of them are taking action.”
Households are being advised to shop around and switch in order to get on a fixed-tariff energy plan.
Francis added: “If you haven’t switched already, it’s not too late. It takes just five minutes to compare energy deals and all you need is to be armed with your latest bill, once you have chosen a new tariff the energy company will take care of the rest.
“Fixing your energy bills will protect you from price rises in the future, with many providers promising to fix your prices for the next four winters. EDF Energy Blue+ Price Freeeeze for example, guarantees your prices until March 2017. With an average bill of £1,340 it will be £104 cheaper than the average standard bill from British Gas once the price rise takes effect.
“Help someone who isn’t online as well, such as an elderly relative, to ensure they will benefit from any savings too as many older bill payers will consume a higher amount of energy than most, leaving them the hardest hit this winter. “
Households can take further steps to keep their energy prices down, simple changes such as doing washing at 30 degrees and turning appliances off opposed to leaving them on standby, can result in some significant savings over the year.
Keeping your supplier up to date with regular meter readings can also ensure that you receive an accurate bill for the energy you have consumed.