British Gas to increase electricity prices by 12.5% next month

British Gas to hike energy prices by whopping 12.5

But it has since U-turned on the pledge, and following the British Gas announcement, Labour have accused ministers of failing to "get a grip" on soaring energy costs.

The rise - which will only affect customers on its standard variable tariff for electricity - will see the average dual fuel bill for a typical household jump £76 to £1,120 a year - a 7.3% increase.

"Energy firms should treat all their customers fairly and we're concerned this price rise will hit many people already on poor-value tariffs", said a spokeswoman for Britain's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, didn't just announce a price rise today, it also revealed its half year results.

"Since our last price rise in November 2013, some costs have risen steadily - among them government policies to subsidise renewable energy, social levies, delivery to customers' homes, and the nationwide smart metering programme", British Gas chief executive Mark Hodges said in a statement.

The group's pre-tax profits dropped by 7% to £639m in the six months to 30 June, compared with £688m for the same period a year ago.

Co-founder Will Hodson said: "British Gas announcing a price rise as they make half a billion in profit is the ultimate slap in the face for families".

British Gas is the last of the "big six" energy firms to increase prices. British Gas claim the rise is because of increased costs but Ofgem data shows that all their costs - wholesale, network and policy - have dropped by nine per cent since December 2016.

"It's been a very hard decision to make but the costs of providing electricity are rising", said Mark Hodges, chief executive of Centrica Consumer.

The company's gas customers will not be affected as prices will remain unchanged but the electricity price increase will affect more than three million customers.

"The fact of modern Britain is that people simply can not live without energy yet they are being squeezed by both rising prices as well as flat or falling wages".

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: "Hard-pressed consumers waiting to see how the Government will tackle costly standard variable tariffs will be disappointed to see prices rising".

"Currently only the large suppliers pay these, and we don't think that's good for the market".

"British Gas hasn't had a price rise for almost four years".

The Government responded by renewing its pre-election threat to impose a cap on standard tariffs following the conclusion of a continuing investigation of the charges led by the industry regulator, Ofgem.



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