dglobalnews.com British Gas Raises Electricity Prices
Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

British Gas Raises Electricity Prices

British Gas Raises Electricity Prices

"The 12.5% electricity price rise this September reflects the increasing costs of energy policy, and delivery to customers' homes since 2014".

Centrica, Britain's largest energy supplier and owner of household energy supplier British Gas, announced it would raise electricity tariffs from September 15 but would hold gas prices at current levels.

Such announcements are highly sensitive because they can affect share prices. And that means, if, (as is possible) we see another batch of rises this coming winter, its customers will feel like they been price-slapped twice in rapid succession.

Mark Hodges, the chief executive of Centrica's consumer business, said the company has made a number of proposals to the government and to regulator Ofgem, including phasing out the standard variable tariff and "levelling the playing field" so all suppliers pay a share of energy policy obligations. Ofgem says that the costs of government obligations for energy rose 2.9% between January 2016 and January 2017.

The supplier - owned by the energy giant Centrica - said it had been forced into the "difficult decision" by rising costs and was its first for more than three years.

He said: "We haven't taken this decision lightly".

It was quickly removed from the website and British Gas subsequently refused to comment, beyond saying it does not speculate about future electricity pricing.

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"But they will really feel the impact when the big winter bills start to come through and they are paying hundreds of pounds more than savvy consumers who have moved away from incredibly expensive standard tariffs".

The Conservative manifesto pledged a wide-ranging cap to protect 17 million customers from excessive rises, saving people an estimated £100 a year.

Energy firms have blamed price rises in the past 18 months on increases in green taxes to subsidise a switch to wind and solar power.

The British Gas owner updated investors on its half-year performance in a separate statement, announcing that its adjusted earnings had dropped 11 percent to £449 million in the first half of the year.

Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead said the government "should have acted on its pre-election promise of imposing a price cap on energy costs".

"At the very least the Conservatives should institute the energy price cap which Theresa May promised during the campaign".

Centrica noted that its direct like-for-like headcount reduced by 1,058 in the first half of 2017 and it remains on track to achieve its targeted reduction of 1,500 for the full year, which will take the total reduction since the start of 2016 to almost 5,000.

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