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British Gas announce unwelcome winter price hike

17 October 2013
  • Increase of 9.2% in energy prices to add £116.88* a year to average dual fuel bill - from £1,270.40 to £1,387.28

Following SSE's announcement last week that it is to increase its energy prices by 8.2% on 15 November this year, British Gas has now shown its hand.

With a quarter (25%) of UK householders saying that they expect to be cold this winter because of the cost of energy**, British Gas, the second of the ‘big six' to announce a winter price hike this year, has said that its customers will have to pay 9.2% more for their gas and electricity from 23 November.

Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at price comparison website Gocompare.com, said: "With British Gas set to add £116.88 to its customers' annual energy bills, now's the time to research what other tariffs are available, and consider switching. Those that vote with their wallets and move their business elsewhere could save £153.21*** or more.

"Bear in mind that it can take anywhere from four to eight weeks to complete the switch to a new energy supplier, so don't wait to shop around. Compare tariffs from other energy suppliers now, and consider switching to a fixed rate so you know what you'll be paying longer term.

"There are tariffs available at the moment from EDF and npower that are fixed until March 2017, and from Scottish Power that are fixed until January 2017.  But fixing can be a gamble, and something that can be a great idea when the market is volatile and prices are going up and down, but could result in you paying a premium if energy prices are stable."

Jeremy added: "A good signal for when it's best to fix is when good deals and tariffs start disappearing from the market - which they have been in recent weeks. And as winter approaches, it's likely that the wholesale price will rise again as demand for gas and electricity increases, so again, that could be a good time to fix.

"When comparing tariffs and suppliers, don't limit your search to the ‘big six', as many smaller energy companies can offer competitive deals and often fare better when it comes to customer service too.

"And remember, what you will be charged for your energy depends on various factors, such as where you live, precisely how much energy you use, how you pay your bills and more, so it's important to look for a tariff that is tailored to you - there's no such thing as an ‘off-the-shelf' tariff that's best for everyone."

Of the big six, EDF, npower, E.ON and Scottish Power are yet to announce increases to the cost of their gas and electricity.

For more information or to compare gas, electricity and dual fuel tariffs today, visit: www.gocompare.com/gas-and-electricity/.

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Notes to editors:

* Based on a medium user (3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas per year)

** On the 18th and 19th September 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 1,784 randomly selected British adults and Springboard UK panellists who pay or contribute towards a household energy bill. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

*** Between 1 April 2013 and 30 June 2013, at least 51% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas and electricity with Gocompare.com saved £153.21 or more.