British Gas price rise “a bitter pill to swallow”, says Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice has responded to British Gas’s announcement that it is raising the price of its Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) by 3.8%. This follows a previous price rise of 5.5% announced in April.
The increase will affect 3.5 million British Gas customers, parent company Centrica has announced.
The average bill will rise by £44, taking it to £1,205 a year.
British Gas said the increase, the second in a year – is due to a 20% rise in costs of buying wholesale energy since April.
The SVT was withdrawn for new customers in March and 2.4 million customers on fixed rates are unaffected.
The company, the biggest energy supplier in the UK, said its average bill was still “just below” the average of other large energy suppliers.
Mark Hodges, chief executive of Centrica Consumer, said:
“We understand that any price increase adds extra pressure on customers’ household bills. However, this reflects the sharp rise in wholesale energy costs.”
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice, said:
“A second significant price hike in the space of a year will be a bitter pill to swallow for hard-pressed British Gas customers.
Those people most likely to be on a standard variable tariff – including the elderly, people on low incomes and those with disabilities – will particularly struggle to cope with yet another bill increase.
While the government’s proposed price cap should protect customers from the worst of these tariffs, anyone who isn’t happy with their energy company should think about switching tariff or supplier.”
Citizens Advice energy price comparison tool
Citizens Advice provides an independent comparison of energy tariffs, alongside a customer service star rating, at energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk.
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