British Gas Hikes Price By 9.2% from November
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
British Gas is the second of the Big Six Energy companies to increase the prices of gas and electricity. From November 23rd electricity will rise by 10.4% and gas by 8.4% which will mean an extra £107 a year to the average consumer. British Gas parent company Centrica has laid the blame for the increase on higher delivery costs and government subsidies paid for through customer billing. SSE has already been taking the brunt of accusations that it is ripping customers off at an 8.2% increase.
British Gas has said that the decision for the increase was primarily brought about by costs not under their control. Managing director of British Gas Ian Peters has gone on record saying that although the company is aware of the constraints that this increase will put on the customers, and the difficulties that households will bear through the added costs when incomes are not keeping pace with costs, but says that the decision has been deliberated over and is unavoidable. He has also appealed to customers to enquire as to whether they qualify for any energy efficiency upgrades such as insulation and new boilers.
Labourís Caroline Flint has commented that the latest increase is a clear indication of the need of the price freeze proposed by Ed Miliband for 2015 if Labour wins the elections. British Gas has an estimated 7.8 million customers who will be affected by this new increase. The British Gas price increase comes as a bit of a shock after it was suggested in May that extra profits from the previous winter year would be used to offset more hikes this year, and an online source has suggested that the increase will leave consumers feeling betrayed, and with promises broken.
British Gas has said that they feel the profits they are making are fair when it takes in to consideration that it is keeping homes warm and lit. The energy price increases are not going to stop as Britain waits for the other four members of the Big Six to announce their price increases. E.on, Scottish Power, nPower and EDF are expected to up their prices over the next couple of weeks. All of this means one thing to the British customer, more money to pay for fuel and less money to buy food, and an increase in fuel poverty.
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