British Gas increases energy prices again

British Gas is to increase prices for 3.5 million customers, from today, 1 October.

The 3.8% increase in its standard variable tariff (SVT) means the average bill will rise by £44, taking it to £1,205 a year.

This is the second increase this year, but Centrica (British gas’s parent company) said wholesale energy prices had risen since the last price increase.

The company, the biggest energy supplier in the UK, said its average bill was still “just below” the average of other large energy suppliers.

“We understand that any price increase adds extra pressure on customers’ household bills. However, this reflects the sharp rise in wholesale energy costs,” said Mark Hodges, chief executive of Centrica’s consumer arm.

E.On, SSE, Npower, EDF, ScottishPower and Bulb have all hiked energy prices, blaming wholesale energy costs for the increases.

Centrica  quoted figures showing that since April, gas prices had increased by 21% and electricity prices by 18% in the wholesale market.

Customers who do not pick a new tariff when they come off fixed-rate deals are now put on its new temporary tariff, which will also increase by 3.8% from today, 1 October. British Gas said a typical dual-fuel customer would pay £1,180 on this tariff. It has 250,000 customers on this tariff.

Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at consumer group Which?, said the latest rise meant that bills had increased by an average of £104 in six months. “They should take the power back into their own hands and radically change how much they pay.”

So how can you radically change how much you pay? One solution is to generate your own electricity using solar panels. But if this is something you are seriously considering then time is of the essence.

Currently for every unit of electricity generated by a solar panel installation the government pays a Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) payment, regardless of whether you use the electricity or pass it back to the national grid. A further payment is made for any surplus energy generated by the panels that is sent to the national grid.

So currently you can reduce your electricity bills by generating your own electricity and get paid for doing so. However, this is all set to end at the end of March 2019 when the government plan to withdraw the Feed-in-Tariff.  The good news is if you want to take advantage of the FIT incentive you still can and you will then be locked into receive the current FIT rate for the next 20 years.

If you would like advice on how to reduce your energy consumption and generate your own electricity then call us on 0161 330 7739 or complete this form.

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