News & Insight

British Gas to raise electricity prices by 12.5%

Max White

The 'unjustifiable' hike that has got customers and experts up in arms

Today British Gas announced that 3.1 million of its customers will pay 12.5% more for their electricity from 15 September.

Gas prices will remain the same but the average annual dual-fuel bill for a standard tariff will shoot up by £76 to £1,120, up by 7.3%.

Centrica - the company that owns British Gas - records its profits for its UK energy supply arm at £381m, whilst the group’s overall profit totals £816m.

Why are prices going up?

Centrica says the hike is necessary to balance the increased transmission and distribution costs, and government policy costs. The government, however, has said that its policy costs aren’t to blame for the price increase.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "Energy firms should treat all their customers fairly and we're concerned this price rise will hit many people already on poor value tariffs.

"Government policy costs make up a relatively small proportion of household energy bills and cannot explain these price rises."

“Do not sit on your backside and just take this”

The fallout to the announcement has been widespread.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accused British Gas of being part of a ‘cartel’, whilst Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead MP called the price hike ‘unjustifiable’.

Money Saving Expert Founder and financial counsellor to the masses, Martin Lewis, issued a stark warning to British Gas customers and urged them to take their business elsewhere.

“Do not sit on your backside and just take this. For someone with typical use, on British Gas’ standard tariff you’re going to be paying £1,120 a year from September.

“The cheapest tariffs on the market are £840 for the same usage. And switching is usually no big deal – there’s no break in service, no engineers coming to call – it’s the same as, same electricity, same safety – only the price and who provides customer service actually changes.”

How to pay less

Visit to find yourself a cheaper energy tariff and compare customer service ratings for different energy suppliers.

Existing XLN customers can now get gas and electricity from XLN and save up to 40% on their bill. To switch and save, visit the XLN Energy page.