British Gas to increase energy bills by 6%
British Gas has confirmed that it is increasing its gas and electricity prices by 6% from 11th November. That means that the average dual fuel customer will see their annual bill rise by around £80.
The company cited rising wholesale energy prices, dwindling North Sea gas supplies and higher costs to upgrade the national grid as reasons for the increase.
But this move shouldn't come as a surprise as back in May British Gas warned that the rise in wholesale gas prices could result in an increase in consumer prices later in the year. In addition, rival energy firm SSE is increasing its gas and electricity bills by an average of 9% from 15th October.
Sky is increasing its prices again
In a further blow to consumers Sky has announced that it is raising the cost of telephone line rental by 18% from £12.25 to £14.50 a month from December. The announcement comes just a month after Sky increased call fees and call connection charges.
What can you do about these price rises?
Well the good news is that there is something you can do if you are affected by these prices rises.
With regards to the Sky price hike, Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, stipulates that a customer must be free to switch without penalty if their provider makes a change to a contract which is of "material detriment". Sky's website acknowledges this by saying: "If you are a Sky Talk Line Rental customer affected by the change above, you have the option to cancel your Sky Talk subscription without charge." So if you are affected by Sky's price rise then shop around immediately.
Those affected by the British Gas price rise need to act now. Regular readers will have seen me banging on about how it's not too late to fix your gas & electricity with no exit penalty. Those who listened have already been handsomely rewarded, even before this new wave of price increases.
But remember that a fixed deal might not necessarily be the cheapest deal at the moment as there are some cheap flexible rate deals out there. If you follow the advice in the above link you should find the best deal for you.
One final note, remember the big six energy companies have been accused of operating a cartel. Historically, when one energy company raises or cuts its prices (as they all did earlier this year) the others inevitably follow. The only firm not likely to increase its prices soon is Eon who has promised to keep prices on hold until the end of the year.