If you’re a British Gas customer, you could see your energy bills increase by up to £60 if you’re on one of the supplier’s standard variable tariff (SVT) rates.
The company has just announced it will be pushing up its SVT from May 29th this year and is advising customers on this particular tariff to consider moving to one of its new fixed term deals.
New customers can no longer choose the SVT, which British Gas stopped selling on March 31st, and by the end of the year the supplier hopes that one million more customers will have moved to an alternative deal.
The 3.7 million customers that are on prepayment meters, on fixed-term deals and who are considered vulnerable will not be affected the change in the standard tariff. British Gas puts the rise down to increases in wholesale and policy costs, including schemes to drive down carbon emissions and the introduction of smart meters.
“Government’s energy policies are important but they are also pushing up customers’ bills. We believe government should level the playing field so the customers of all suppliers pay a fair share of energy policy costs. We continue to encourage government to consider moving these costs out of energy bills altogether and into general taxation,” British Gas noted in a statement.
Commenting on the news, director of energy at Citizens Advice Victoria Macgregor questioned whether these price rises are actually justifiable. She went on to say that the announcement will see people paying between £47 and £72 more than the pre-payment meter cap on average a year, even though its’ cheaper to serve those who opt to pay by direct debit and cheque.
Ms Macgregor added that the price hike further emphasises the need for government to quickly introduce its cap on poor value default tariffs.
Head of energy with comparethemarket.com Peter Earl made further comments, saying that it won’t be much comfort at all to customers that British Gas has expressed reluctance over increasing its prices. Many in the UK have already had to face big increases in costs in the last few years so this news will be a “bitter pill to swallow”.
He reminded people that there is always the option to switch suppliers and at the moment you could actually save more than £200 on energy bills if you do decide to find another company.
And Georgie Frost from GoCompare Energy predicted that other suppliers will now most likely follow suit and increase their tariffs as well, since what typically happens when one of the big sex energy providers goes down this route the rest will follow relatively quickly.
It could certainly be worth doing a bit of research and seeing if you could get your energy cheaper elsewhere – and it doesn’t take much time at all to switch. You could be reaping the benefits of a bit of effort very soon indeed, freeing up your cash to spend elsewhere.
For help with heating services in Cumbria, get in touch with us today.