Customers could see price rises of up to £76* a year if they don’t switch
The race is on for the 3.1 million British Gas customers who are on the energy giant's standard variable tariff to switch to a better deal, as a 12.5% electricity price hike comes into effect this Friday (15 September).
British Gas’s price increase will cost its standard variable tariff customers up to £76 more a year, bringing the average annual dual fuel bill up to £1,120. However, they could save as much as £256** by switching supplier.
The rise also completes the clean sweep of ‘big six’ price hikes in 2017, as the supplier had previously been the only energy giant not to raise costs at the beginning of the year.
The cynical price hike is timed perfectly to hit households just as the nights draw in and the temperature drops, and household energy usage begins to rise. It will also see the cost of electricity increase nearly five times above the level of inflation, which has not been reflected in wholesale energy prices.
While people on a standard variable tariff will see their energy bills increase, those on fixed deals will be unaffected by the recent rises. However, once their fixed deals expire, they too will be moved onto the new, more expensive standard variable rate. As such, GoCompare Energy is urging people to get online and take advantage of some of the highly competitive fixed deals available right now, which start from as little as £824 a year.
GoCompare is also warning customers on other ‘big six’ suppliers that energy companies rarely raise their prices in isolation, so while it may seem like British Gas are just playing catch up, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that other suppliers might increase their prices further.
Ben Wilson from GoCompare Energy said: “Though it’s not surprising to see British Gas hike their electricity costs just as energy usage increases, it’s still incredibly disappointing for the millions of homes that will be impacted.”
“Energy providers are continuing to punish loyal customers year after year, rewarding their loyalty with higher prices and poor excuses. Simply put, if you’ve been with your supplier for more than a year then there’s a good chance you’re paying more than you should be for your energy and could save up to £256* by switching. For just a few minutes work, it should be a no brainer.
“From Friday, if you’re a British Gas customer on a standard variable tariff, you will be paying more for your energy, and you weren’t even on the best deal to begin with. That’s a fact. What’s more, it means that every single day after Friday, you’ll be throwing money out of the window needlessly. Nothing about your service will be different, other than you’ll be paying even more money for the privilege of being on a bad deal. Our message to people is clear, don’t pay British Gas’s £76 a year loyalty tax – get smart, get online and get a better deal.
For more information on how to switch, and to see how much you could save, visit GoCompare.
Notes to editors:
**Based on customers who provided their energy usage and received a price for switching energy supplier for both gas and electricity (dual fuel) using GoCompare during 01 Oct - 31 Dec 2016. At least 51% of customers who received a price for switching energy supplier for both gas and electricity with GoCompare saved £256 or more