British Gas customers face an average 9.2% increase on their energy bill from 23 November. The move follows an increase by SSE Energy just last week.
The price increase will impact 7.8 million customers who will see bills jump by an average of £122.
British Gas said the increase was down to North Sea gas reserves depleting. They claimed as a result, the company has to buy energy on the global market where prices are rising. It also blamed the cost of delivering gas and electricity and the price of the government’s social and environmental schemes.
According to MoneySuperMarket.com, consumers should expect the other four major energy providers – EDF, e.on, npower and Scottish Power – to announce price hikes over the coming weeks.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey described the news as “extremely disappointing”. He added that he had recently written to energy companies asking them to publish their costs of delivering the Energy Company Obligation.
“Today’s announcement shows why that’s necessary, because British Gas’s ECO numbers just don’t add up when you look at what other energy companies are saying about their costs,” he explained.
Doug Parr, Greenpeace Policy Director, commented on the news. He said, “The Government should immediately instigate a massive programme of home insulation and efficiency, funded by revenues from carbon pricing.
“The UK has the worst domestic housing in Europe and the quicker we move on from divisive and misleading political wrangles over green levies to actually tackle the root of the rising bills problem, the better for everyone – except the energy companies of course.”
British Gas faced angry customers on Twitter. They had asked customers to tell them what they thought of the company and ask questions using hastag #AskBG, but it didn’t take long before hundreds of customers vented their frustration at the price increase.