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Gas and electricity bills increase for winter

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Homeowners are being urged to prepare themselves for rises in gas and electricity prices leading into the winter months.

Over the past couple of year’s energy bills have continued to rise leading up to the winter when homeowners use more energy resulting in higher bills.

Warnings were issued to homeowners in May to expect increases with six major energy companies all following the same lead.

British Gas has been the second energy company to announce an increase in their dual-fuel bills today which means consumers are now faced with even more hikes.

Families around the UK will be facing a 6% jump in their energy bills which will increase a dual-fuel bill by £80 and an annual bill to £1,300.  The increase is expected to cause problems for homeowners who are facing other increased household bills, petrol costs and being placed on a salary freeze.

The latest hikes will encourage households to cut back on the amount of energy that is used this winter as Watchdog Consumer Focus found that 70% are already planning this and 39% of consumers are worried about affording their energy bills this winter.

The Government have launched free or discounted heating measures to help save the amount of energy that is used in a household in a bid to help to tackle the issue of rising bills. Among the measures are The Renewable Heat Incentive, Cavity Wall Installation and Loft Installation. Around £110 could potentially be saved annually on energy bills if consumers agree to the new measures.

British Gas Managing Director Phil Bentley commented: “Unfortunately, we cannot run our business sustainably on lower margins and still make the investments in jobs and future energy sources that Britain needs, especially if the country is to grow its way out of recession.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge