Centrica raises United Kingdom electricity prices despite customer exodus

British Gas in shock rates hike with MILLIONS to be hit by huge bills

The "big six" energy firm blamed the hike on the increased costs of supplying electricity and defended the move, claiming it had shielded customers from rises since November 2013, but could no longer offset the cost.

The average bill cost will rise by £76 and Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has said it will give a £76 credit to more than 200,000 vulnerable customers to protect them from the increase.

Such announcements are highly sensitive because they can affect share prices.

Centrica's price increase also comes despite steep losses in customer accounts as many switch to rivals and new market entrants who often offer cheaper tariffs.

But Iain Conn, chief executive of Centrica, told the programme that while the commodity price of electricity had come down it was facing "significant cost pressure" on transmission, distribution and costs associated with Government policy.

If you don't know your energy consumption details then don't worry, the comparison sites will allow you to answer a few questions about your lifestyle to provide you with a personal estimate.

Research suggests that British Gas should be cutting bills, not putting them up, as the wholesale cost of energy has been falling.

"British Gas hasn't had a price rise for almost four years".

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".

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British Gas has installed more than 4 million smart meters so far.

The owner of British gas, Centrica, has admitted that more than three million utilities customers will be affected by this energy price hike.

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.

Handily, Ofgem breaks down that 15% cost increase into what has caused costs to rise.

"On the face of it, it does not appear to be justifiable at all from where the market is going", he said.

The hike will be introduced in September and will impact 3.1 million people.

In the run up to the June General Election, the Conservatives promised and energy price cap, in a supposed departure from traditional Tory liberal economics which rejects state interference in the market. This followed a government request to set out plans to help those placed on the poorest-value tariffs.

"And that means if, as is possible, we see another batch of rises this coming winter, its customers will feel like they've been price-slapped twice in rapid succession".

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