British Gas customers warned of future price hikes

Nearly 16m UK households could face higher energy bills this year due to rising wholesale gas costs, British Gas owner Centrica has warned.
Despite its recent cut in electricity prices, customers may soon be hit by another round of price hikes after the company revealed that the cost of supplying homes will rise by £50 by the end of the summer.
In a statement, it said that wholesale gas prices for next winter will be around 15 per cent higher than last year, while other costs (transportation, government environment levies, etc) will add £50 to the cost of supplying gas and electricity to the average household this year.
“The trend for retail energy costs therefore remains upwards,” it said.
British Gas came under fire last summer after it raised gas and electricity prices by 18 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.
In January, the energy giant gave some respite to customers by cutting its standard electricity tariff by 5 per cent. However, it was unable to lower gas prices as long-term costs for the fuel remained high.
Tom Lyon, of price comparison website Uswitch, warned that any further price rises will see even more Britons “seriously struggling to afford their bills”.
“We would urge all suppliers to hold fire for as long as possible and to ensure that if they do move it is only in response to a sustained upward trend,” he said. “It is also important that they recognise the impact it will have on their customers.”