16:21 18 October 2013
In a move which Prime Minister David Cameron described as a “disappointing”, British Gas has confirmed electricity and gas prices will dramatically increase starting on November 23.
Affecting 7.8 million households, the company said that gas and electricity price will increase by 10.4per cent and 8.4per cent respectively (resulting in an average uppage of 9.2per cent).
However, there are regional variations. Scottish customers will see 11.2per cent increase while London will pay 10.6% more of their monthly bills. Households in Yorkshire will see a 10.5per cent lift.
British Gas, which is owned by Centrica, said that the decision wasn’t easy to make. In a statement, it said: "We recognise that energy bills are a real worry for hard-pressed households, particularly at a time when the cost of living is rising faster than incomes.
"Today's announcement, which will add about £2 a week to the average dual fuel bill, reflects the increasing cost of: buying energy in global markets, delivering gas and electricity to the home, and the Government's social and environmental programmes, which are paid for through customers' bills."
Ian Peters, managing director of British Gas Residential Energy, added: "I know these are difficult times for many customers and totally understand the frustration that so many household costs keep on rising when incomes aren't keeping pace.
"We haven't taken this decision lightly, but what’s pushing up energy prices at the moment are costs that are not all directly under our control, such as the global price of energy, charges that we have to pay for using the national grid that delivers energy to the home, and the cost of the Government's social and environmental programmes.”
The news comes just after rival energy company SSE raised its bills by 8.2% from November 15.
Ministers have been vocal about advising households to shop around and switch suppliers to a more cost effective one.