British Gas raises electricity prices for millions of customers

GETTY    
   ENERGY British Gas have announced a significant price hike for this September

It has said gas prices will remain at their current level, but the average annual dual fuel bill for a typical household on standard tariff will rise by £76 to £1120 - an increase of 7.3 per cent. Customers using a pre-payment meter will also not be affected. And that means if, as is possible, we see another batch of rises this coming winter, its customers will feel like they've been price-slapped twice in rapid succession.

Chief executive Ian Conn told the BBC Today programme: "Governments have had to make some very hard decisions about the future of the energy system and the way in which we now pay for that is through the bill".

"Seven in ten households are overpaying for their energy on expensive standard tariffs, yet within ten minutes they could switch and save hundreds of pounds - as well as protect themselves against further hikes by fixing their tariff".

Homes that have solar panels, wind, hydro and other types of systems set up to produce renewable electricity can get paid money by firms like British Gas to generate and export energy.

Centrica plc (CNA.L) reported that its statutory profit attributable to shareholders for the first half of 2017 plunged 96 percent to 44 million pounds from 1.15 billion pounds a year ago.

Comparing costs with May 2016 may not be the most helpful figure - British Gas has announced price freezes twice during that period.

The group insisted its overall electricity costs had increased by 16% since 2014.

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Britain's largest energy supplier Centrica raised its household electricity prices on Tuesday to try to turn around a loss-making part of its business despite shedding another 485,000 customer accounts in under two months.

And mounting utility bills combined with flatlining household incomes and poor building standards on insulation, mean the problem has been growing steadily in the United Kingdom for years.

Centrica noted that its direct like-for-like headcount reduced by 1,058 in the first half of 2017 and it remains on track to achieve its targeted reduction of 1,500 for the full year, which will take the total reduction since the start of 2016 to almost 5,000.

Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead said: "On the face of it, it doesn't appear to be justifiable at all".

Before the general election, Mrs May announced plans for a cap that could save millions of people on standard variable tariffs (SVT) around £100 a year.

"It is really important now that energy prices are stabilised and we need a cap to do that", he said.

"It was the only one of the big 6 firms not to raise prices at the start of the year, and now, as predicted, it'll do it from September".

"As a former public utility, British Gas has a huge number of customers who don't switch, and is clearly treating these people like cash-cows".

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