British Gas customers face winter chill

Today British Gas announced that as of August 2011, it will be raising domestic tariffs for gas and electricity on 18 August 2011 by up to 18%. Consumer champions Which? […]

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By Tom Gibson

Today British Gas announced that as of August 2011, it will be raising domestic tariffs for gas and electricity on 18 August 2011 by up to 18%. Consumer champions Which? Have said the news is unsurprising and that customers will be forced to dig deeper in their pockets.

British Gas have defended their rises by claiming that their customers will be offered energy-saving measures such as free insulation. However consumer group Which? said consumers would suffer. Executive Director, Richard Lloyd said: “This is an unwelcome but unsurprising announcement for British Gas’ millions of customers. Many people are already having to cut back on essentials because of the rising cost of living, and with energy bills rising further, this could be a cold winter for many.”

Energy Minister Chris Huhne blamed the rises on “the violent and unpredictable winds of global fossil fuel prices” and has given backing to new entrants to the market to boost competition.

Mr Huhne said: “I refuse to stand by and watch this happen. I’m pushing the big six suppliers to help their customers overhaul their draughty homes and understand the best tariffs on offer, and I’m backing new entrants to bring more competition to the market.”