British Gas Announces 9.2% Price Increase

17 October 2013

British Gas customers will see fuel bills increase by an average of 9.2% from next month, it has been revealed.

The energy giant announced that gas prices would rise by an average of 8.4% and electricity prices by 10.4% with effect from 23 November. The increase will add an average of £123 to a dual fuel bill.

The actual increase will vary per geographical region, with the north of Scotland expected to be hit worst with an increase of 11.2% while southwest England will get off lighter with increases of just 6.8%.

News of the price hike comes just days after fellow energy giants SSE announced an 8.2% increase in energy bills was on the way.

Officials at the energy company cited the increasing cost of buying and delivering energy as well as the Government’s social and environmental programmes, which include the Energy Company Obligation, as contributing factors to their decision to increase prices.

This is the fourth time British Gas, which is the UK’s largest energy supplier, has increased its prices in less than three years, after prices rose in December 2010, August 2011, and November 2012.

“This is extremely disappointing news for British Gas’s customers,” said Energy Secretary Edward Davey upon learning of the company’s decision to increase prices.

“The competition we’ve introduced to the energy market means people have a choice. They can look for the best deal available; including from smaller suppliers, with the confidence that switching will make an immediate difference to their bills and force the Big 6 to compete on price.”

In addition to switching suppliers, householders can also get some respite from these price hikes by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

Under the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal, householders can make a number of energy saving improvements to their property, including home insulation (Cavity Wall Insulation, Solid Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation), double glazing, installation of energy efficient boilers, and much more.

Home insulation is something British Gas is getting behind too.

“Energy efficiency is the best way to keep bills down,” explains Ian Peters, Managing Director of British Gas Residential Energy.

“I encourage anyone who has not benefited from [energy efficiency schemes] to go online and check if they are eligible. On average, insulation can save you around £200 a year.”

Millions of Britain’s homes are without adequate insulation. The Energy Company Obligation offers a means tested, non-repayable grant to pay for Cavity Wall Insulation, Solid Wall Insulation, and Loft Insulation. Meanwhile, the Green Deal offers a fixed-rate loan to make similar home improvements for those not eligible for an ECO grant.

With up to £490 of savings to be made each year, British Gas customers that are likely to feel the sting from this latest round of increases would do well to seek out home insulation.

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