British Gas to put up electricity bills by 12.5%, says owner Centrica

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Government sources reiterated Theresa May's threat to hit the industry with price capping if charges kept on being hiked.

Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead today demanded the Government think again today and put a cap back on the table given British Gas' "unjustifiable" action.

There are a number of handy comparison sites that are accredited by energy regulator Ofgem.

Tariff switching firm the Big Deal said its own research suggested British Gas should be cutting bills as the overall costs for energy companies - including wholesale, network and policy costs - have fallen by nine per cent since December 2016.

"We're on the right track", he told The Daily Telegraph, adding that the first phase of our portfolio transformation to be complete by the end of 2017.

Before the general election, Mrs May announced plans for a cap that could save millions of people on standard variable tariffs (SVT) around £100 a year.

It was titled "Why we've had to raise electricity prices - our first increase since November 2013.' However, the body of the text read only 'blah blah", suggesting the upload was an error.

"Our costs have gone up over the past few years by around 16 per cent, so in the end, despite our own efforts to try and keep our costs under control, our efforts to improve our service, we have just had to make this hard decision".

"Customers do have choice", he said.

"Customers do have a choice and can move to many other companies".

British Gas's standard variable tariff for electricity is now the cheapest of all Big Six offers - however, according to consumer website Uswitch, it is still £286 more expensive compared to the rest of the market. Since then, some costs have risen steadily, including "Government policies to subsidise renewable energy, social levies, delivery to customers' homes, and the nationwide smart metering programme".

Higher bills add to the misery already felt by households as Brexit-linked inflation squeezes budgets at a time of weaker wage growth.

The so called "big six" of the UK's largest energy suppliers have a strong hold over energy prices, and successive governments and parties have pledged to introduce some form of price controls in recent years and decades.

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

The group's pre-tax profits dropped by 7% to £639m in the six months to 30 June, compared with £688m for the same period previous year.

The FTSE 100 company further said that British Gas will give a credit to protect more than 200,000 vulnerable customers from the increase.