MILLIONS OF CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY BRITISH GAS PRICE HIKE
Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire & Arran and SNP Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, has condemned the decision by British Gas to raise its electricity process by 12.5% from 15 September. This means the average dual fuel bill for a typical household on a standard tariff will rise by £76 to £1,120 up by 7.3%.
The announcement, which will affect 3.1 million customers across the UK, follows a blunder on Monday when a partial statement on the price hikes was published on its website.
Details of the increase came as British Gas owner Centrica announced earnings from its consumer business fell by more than a quarter in the first half after losing 377,000 UK customer accounts.
British Gas owner, Centrica, conceded that wholesale costs have fallen by about £36 on the typical bill since the beginning of 2014 but cited transmission and distribution of electricity to the home and UK government policy costs as the driver of the price increase.
Patricia Gibson said:
''Consumers deserve better than this. We need a clear explanation of why prices are rocketing while wholesale costs of gas are actually stable or going down.
''These inflation busting increases will hit people hard as winter sets in - and there will be real hardship for families already making decisions about how they manage increasingly
“Only last week I pointed out how far too many customers are overpaying each year for their energy due to being on poor value tariffs.
"We need the UK Government, which has the powers in this area, to take strong, swift action to bring real competition to the energy market and end the Big Six’s predatory pricing.
“Only a ‘relative price cap’ in which a company’s Standard Variable Tariff, is pegged to a maximum percentage above its best deal will create the real price transparency needed to harness competition for the benefit of all consumers.”