Leading energy supplier British Gas has announced a further rise in their energy prices by approximately 20% adding further misery to cash-strapped consumers.
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This is the second time that British Gas customers have seen a price increase in the last nine months, pushing an average dual fuel bill up by as much as £190.
British Gas currently supplies gas to approximately half of UK households. This latest price hike will affect nine million customers, who are likely to see a 25% increase in their bill when compared to December 2010.
The average annual dual fuel bill now stands at a staggering £1,286.
British Gas has increased the cost of their gas by 18%, or £120, and electricity by 16%, or £69.
The energy supplier is just one of the ‘big 6’ who have increased their prices over the last few months. The four others include E.ON, Npower, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish power.
Npower were the latest utilities provider to announce a wave of price hikes last week.
The average tariff for gas with them will increase by 15.7% and electricity will increase by 7.2% from October 2011.
Dual fuel bills can be expected rise by an average £134 a year.
Npower claim that their new rates are, on average, still £30 cheaper than British Gas.
Scottish Power’s prices have risen from £1,211 in July to £1,391 from 1st August this year.
EDF remain the only energy supplier that has resisted the temptation to adjust their prices, for now.
However, consumers may wish to rush into joining EDF as it is not yet clear what their intentions for the future are.
Price hikes are going to put a significant strain on family finances, will create considerable concern over winter energy bills and could push homes into fuel poverty.
Consumer Focus estimates the number of UK households living in fuel poverty will increase by almost 2 million after the price hikes.