British Gas is to increase prices of 3.5 million customers, its parent company Centrica has announced.
The 3.8% increase in its standard variable rate (SVT) from 1 October means that the average bill will rise by £44, taking it to £1,205 a year.
This is the second increase this year, but Centrica said wholesale energy prices had increased since the last time.
The SVT was removed for new customers in March and 2.4 million customers on fixed rates are affected.
The company, the largest energy provider in the uk, said its average bill was still “below” the average for other big energy suppliers.
“We understand that any increase in the price adds extra pressure on the customers household bills. However, this reflects the sharp rise in wholesale energy costs,” said Mark Hodges, executive director of Centrica’s consumer arm.Wholesale prices more
E. On, SSE, Npower, EDF, ScottishPower and the Bulb has all raised the prices of the energy, blaming wholesale energy costs increases.
Ofgem has also announced that it is raising its pre-payment meter in the lid which protects the vulnerable clients – from October.
Centrica, said that until now, had protected the customers from the rise in prices in the wholesale energy market, as they purchase their inputs in advance.
He cited figures that show that since the month of April, the price of gasoline has increased by 21% and electricity prices by 18% in the wholesale market.
Mr. Hodges said British Gas was trying to focus on putting customers on fixed-price deals instead of the SVT.
While the company has 3.5 million customers in the SVT, this is a low of 4.3 million in the beginning of the year. Is expected to have reduced the number to three million at the end of this year.
Customers who do not pick up a new fare when they come out fixed-rate deals are now put in their new temporary tariffs will also increase by 3.8% from 1 October. British Gas, said a typical dual fuel customer would have to pay £1,180 on this tariff. It has 250,000 customers on this tariff.
In July, the company said it had lost 340,000 customer accounts in the first half of the year, which was in part to blame for their low position in the ranking of best-buy tables.
Consumers in the SVT are urged to switch supplier. “Millions of people will be rightly furious with British Gas, when you hear talk of another hike in prices. But the customers need to turn that anger into action,” said Guy Anker, deputy director of MoneySavingExpert.com.
When British Gas announced its earlier 5.5% increase in prices in April, the energy minister Claire Perry said the move was “unjustified”.