Bills

Big shock for British Gas customers as supplier increases electricity bills by 12.5%

British Gas electricity customers are in for a shock with three million expected to be affected by a price rise of 12.5 per cent.

The energy giant said the increase will come into effect on September 15.

The price rise will see an average annual ‘dual fuel’ bill for a typical household on a standard tariff go up by £76 to £1,120 – a jump of 7.3 per cent – according to British Gas.

The Centrica-owned firm said the price rise is its first since November 2013 and cited increasing costs of “energy policy and delivery to customers’ homes”.

British Gas has cited increasing costs of ‘energy policy and delivery to homes’

Centrica Consumer chief executive Mark Hodges said: “We held off increasing prices for many months longer than most suppliers in order to protect our customers from rising costs, so it is a difficult decision to have to announce an increase in electricity prices. This rise reflects an underlying increase in policy and transmission costs.

“We know that keeping energy prices as low as possible is vital, and our new standard tariff price has again been set at a level lower than most of the top ten suppliers. We are able to do this because we have managed our own cost base tightly.”

More than 200,000 customers who automatically receive the Warm Home Discount will have the £76 credited back to their account protecting them from the rise.

It also said 5.3 million customers will not be affected by the increase.

Half-year results reveal that earnings from Centrica’s consumer business plunged by more than a quarter with underlying operating profits from its UK home energy supply arm dropping by £381 million.

Centrica’s overall underlying operating profits were 4 per cent lower at £816 million for the six months to June 30.

Customers who are unhappy with the price increases can switch their energy supplier using switching services such as uSwitch or Which – although cancellation fees are common.

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