British Gas announces a hike in energy bills of 14.2%

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

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One of Britain's largest domestic energy suppliers, British Gas, has announced that it is to raise the price of its gas and electricity prices by a record 14.2%. It blames the price rise on increasing wholesale gas prices, which have gone up by over 50% in the past year, the rising cost of oil & the increasing difficulty in getting gas from the North Sea, a major gas field for the United Kingdom.

250 000 people on low incomes will receive a one-off GBP 60 (USD 110.35 , EUR 88.93) rebate to alleviate this price rise.

This follows increases from other suppliers including Powergen and EDF Energy, with both having risen their prices by 7 to 12%. Energywatch, Britain's consumer energy watchdog has said domestic gas and electric bills have gone up by 17 and 22% on average respectively in the last 18 months to August.

In 2004, British Gas increased its prices by 5.9% in January and 12.4% in September.

Across the water in Ireland, the Irish government approved a 25% increase on gas prices by the state owned monopoly, Bord Gais.