British Gas raises gas and electricity tariffs by 6%

Annual dual fuel bill for customers with average consumption will increase by about £80 from next month

British Gas has confirmed it will raise gas and electricity tariffs by 6% from next month. It said the annual dual fuel bill for customers with average consumption would increase by about £80 to £1,238.

A total of 8.5 million households will be hit by the move, although another one million British Gas customers on fixed-price contracts will be unaffected.

The company’s managing director, Phil Bentley, said rising costs were to blame. In July Centrica-owned British Gas announced that half-year profits at its residential arm had risen 23% to £345m.

The rival group SSE, which trades as Southern Electric, Swalec and Scottish Hydro, is due to increase tariffs by average of 9% on Monday, affecting about five million electricity customers and 3.4 million gas customers.

British Gas put gas and electricity tariffs up by 18% and 16% respectively in August 2011, blaming higher wholesale costs, but this was followed by a drop of 5% in electricity tariffs in January when prices eased.

Bentley said: “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. 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.”

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