British Gas hikes the cost of electricity by 12.5% for 3.1 million customers

Following an extended price freeze, British Gas has today announced that it is hiking the cost of its standard variable tariff for electricity by 12.5% or £76 a year for 3.1 million customers.

The increase, which takes effect from 15 September will add an annual total of £235.6 million to its customers’ energy bills. While it remains the cheapest big six standard tariff it is still £286 more expensive than the cheapest deal available today. British Gas has also announced that it will give a one-off credit £76 to the accounts of more than 200,000 vulnerable customers who receive the Warm Home Discount.

Commenting on the news, Claire Osborne, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “With these hikes set to kick in just before the winter, this is a body blow for consumers. At a time when living costs are rising faster than wages, this hike could push many families into the red. Customers should not be lulled into a false sense of security. The British Gas standard tariff remains the cheapest among the big six but it is still £286 more expensive that the cheapest deal on the market today.

“It’s time switch supplier and send a message that price rises like these just aren’t acceptable. 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.”

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