British Gas domestic price hike - Business Gas Suppliers to follow?
It's been coming for a while but today the news broke that British Gas' gas and electricity household prices will rise by 6 per cent from November. This follows an increase of 18 per cent for gas and 16 per cent for electricity in August of last year, although they subsequently dropped electricity tariffs by 5 per cent in January. Sure to further anger bill-payers is that this latest increase arrives not long after British Gas announced a 23 per cent jump in half-yearly profits to £345 million, from its residential arm. The 2011 price rise was blamed on higher wholesale costs, so what's brought this latest round of increases on? Well, wholesale prices are in fact around 13 per cent higher than at the same time last year. Centrica also claim that profits are expected to be 15% lower than the same period last year. The underlying causes are that, as North Sea gas supplies start to dwindle, the UK has to compete, purchasing in a global gas marketplace. British Gas also maintain that the national grid requires ongoing investment to maintain and upgrade it. Coupled with added pressure from the government's clean energy policies and energy prices look to continue rising for some time. The Centrica company predicted that the dual fuel bill for average BG customers will rise by about £80 to £1,238 a year. Nearly 9 million homes will be affected by this increase, but those on fixed price contracts will remain unaffected. Therefore those companies whose business gas suppliers have them on fixed price contracts should breathe slightly more easily therefore as we move closer to business gas price rises. One of British Gas' key rivals SSE, (Southern Electric, Swalec and Scottish Hydro), is planning to increase bills by an average of 9 per cent on Monday, affecting around three and a half million gas customers and five million electricity customers. The focus will now move toward the other large suppliers - EDF, Scottish Power and powere. E.ON has already guaranteed frozen prices for 2012. It will be interesting to see what the forthcoming effect will be on business gas suppliers and their pricing. Utility Helpline can save you up to 70% on your energy bills - click here to get a no obligation quote.
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