British Gas announce gas and electricity price hikes

Consumers will be faced with steeper energy bills from next month, after energy giant British Gas announced a 6% increase in its gas and electricity prices.

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The increase, which will come into effect on 16 November, will see average dual fuel bills soar by an extra £80 a year.

The news follows a rise announced by another ‘Big Six’ supplier, SSE, which will put up energy prices for its customers by 9% from 15 October.

British Gas managing director Phil Bentley argued that rises were unavoidable, while acknowledging that he was aware that consumers were under increasing final pressure.

“We know that household budgets are under pressure and this £1.50 per week rise will be unwelcome,” he said.

“However, we simply cannot ignore the rising costs that are largely outside our control, but which make up most of the bill.”

Mr Bentley argued that 85% of the price it charges its customers is outside of its control. Figures from the company showed that wholesale costs and government charges made up 52% and 11% respectively for gas, and 41% and 20% for electricity.

“Britain’s North Sea gas supplies are running out and British Gas has to pay the going rate for gas in a competitive global marketplace,” he added.

“Furthermore, the investment needed to maintain and upgrade the national grid to deliver energy to our customers’ homes, and the costs of the government’s policies for a clean, energy-efficient Britain, are all going up.”

Earlier this year a Bank of England report highlighted concerns that the increased costs for distribution, development and infrastructure maintenance faced by suppliers could lead to soaring energy bills in the first months of 2013.

To get the most competitive prices on gas and electricity for your business, you can compare gas and electricity with Propertywide.

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