British Gas electricity price hike the 'ultimate slap in face' for families

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.

“We know that keeping energy prices as low as possible is vital, and our new standard tariff price has again been set at a level lower than most of the top ten suppliers. We are able to do this because we have managed our own cost base tightly.”

Big Switch said Centrica made £489 million in profits on its domestic customers during the first half of 2017 and Mr Conn received a 40 per cent pay rise in 2016 making his total remuneration package worth £4.15 million.

Government sources reiterated Theresa May’s threat to hit the industry with price capping if charges kept on being hiked.

“We rule nothing out,” one told the Standard. “We have gone to Ofgem and said we want action to safeguard tarrifs. The threat of legislation is stil there.”

But Labour’s shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead said the “whopping price increase” was unjustified – and accused the Conservatives of breaking a manifesto pledge to impose a cap.

“On the face of it, it does not appear to be justifiable at all from where the market is going,” he said.

“What we need – and what the Government should have done, because there was an agreement going into the election - is a price cap.

“Unfortunately the Government has decided, despite having that in their manifesto, that they are not going to do that now.”

The Conservative manifesto pledged a wide-ranging cap to protect 17 million customers from excessive rises, saving people an estimated £100 a year.

It stated: “We will go further. We will introduce a safeguard tariff cap that will extend the price protection currently in place for some vulnerable customers to more customers on the poorest value tariffs … the safeguard tariff cap will protect customers who do not switch against abusive price increases.”

After the election the plan did not appear in the Queen’s Speech and ministers said they were “considering the best way” to protect people on poor-value tariffs.

Martin Lewis founder of consumer websitecheapenergyclub.com, which has over two million members, said: “This is British Gas’ catch-up price hike.

"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.

"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.”

Read more news on our site.

standard.co.uk
electricityprices BritishGas
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
A ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward by eight years to 2032, MPs have said. The government's current plans to ensure all new cars are "effectively zero emission" by 2040 were "vague and unambitious", a report by Parliament's business select committee said. It also criticised cuts to subsidies and the lack of charging points. The government said it aimed to make the UK "the best place in the world" to own an electric vehicl...
Society
London area home sales fell 15.9 per cent in September from August because of a shortage of homes to sell, and that shortage of inventory helped push up prices by 20 per cent from a year ago, the head of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said. In September, LSTAR reported 776 homes changed hands in London and St. Thomas, compared to a near-record August, when 923 homes were sold. By the numbers Homes sold in September: 776 (a drop of 6....
Society
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, has been released. The cleric was sentenced in 2016 to five-and-a-half years in prison. He led an extremist network linked to violent jihadists, including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013. Choudary, 51, has now served half of his sentence and will complete the rest under strict supervision. Police are preparing up to 25 measures to control him, the BBC...
Society
One of London's front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if he wins the top job, provincial and civic election officials say. One of London’s front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if...
Society
Nearly 150 County of Lambton paramedics are no longer responding to non-emergency calls amid ongoing negotiations for a new contract. Job action as of last Saturday means Lambton County paramedics won’t be doing non-urgent transfers between hospitals for the next while, or keeping ambulance stations as neat and tidy, a union spokesperson says. Nearly 150 Lambton Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics represented by SEIU Healthcare Local 1 stopped resp...
Society
Clapham Junction has been named London’s worst mainline train station for disruption in a survey by leading consumer title Which? Fifty-seven per cent of trains have been late or cancelled at the south London interchange since the beginning of the year, their research found. Their study found King’s Cross was the second worst, with 51 per cent of trains delayed or cancelled, followed by Victoria (47 per cent), Stratford (44 per cent) and London Bridge (44...
Society
Tube drivers on the Piccadilly Line are set to hold fresh 24-hour strike action in a row over staffing and working conditions. The RMT Union has urged members to walk out at 12:00 BST on 7 November until noon the following day - writes bbc.com The union's general secretary Mick Cash said it had become "frustrated" with Tube bosses' handling of a "full raft of issues". Transport for London (TfL) said it was "disappointed" with the new strike. Drivers on the...
Society
The Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are calling for a premium to fund arts classes in England's schools. The major arts institutions say league tables and pressures on time and budgets are squeezing out important creative subjects - writes bbc.com Six thousand 11 to 18-year-olds have described how the subjects help build their confidence, in new research. The government says it is investing almost £500m in arts and music. Creative subjects hav...
Crime
Five teenagers have been jailed for fatally stabbing a man in an unprovoked attack as he returned home from an appointment with his pregnant partner. Daniel Frederick, 34, was knifed repeatedly by the group just yards from his home in Stoke Newington, Hackney. Three teenagers were convicted of murdering Mr Frederick while another two were found guilty of manslaughter. They were jailed at the Old Bailey for a combined total of at least 64 years. Judge Phili...