British Gas was accused of delivering the “ultimate slap in the face” to millions of families today as bosses ordered a huge hike in electricity prices.
The 12.5 per cent rise will add £76 pounds to the typical bill of its three million electricity customers and will come into effect on the 15th September.
The supplier - owned by the energy giant Centrica - said it had been forced into the “difficult decision” by rising costs and was its first for more than three years.
But the “unjustifiable” move sparked a wave of anger from customers and raised fears that other suppliers could follow suit at a time when household budgets are already been squeezed by rising prices triggered by Brexit.
Tariff switching firm the Big Deal said its own research suggested British Gas should be cutting bills as the overall costs for energy companies - including wholesale, network and policy costs - have fallen by nine per cent since December 2016.
Co-founder Will Hodson said: “British Gas announcing a price rise as they make half a billion in profit is the ultimate slap in the face for families. Their standard tariff now costs £286 a year more than the cheapest deal on the market.