Sunday 4 December 2016

British Gas To Freezing Off Its Prices

British Gas

British Gas has announced it will freeze gas and electricity prices for more than six million customers this winter. Those on standard tariffs will benefit from the move, with prices being held at current rates until March.

The UK’s biggest energy provider follows SSE, which froze prices last month until at least April. British Gas said the price freeze would give “peace of mind” to consumers.

The competition regulator said in June that the Big Six energy suppliers were exploiting customers’ loyalty by overcharging them on expensive tariffs, when cheaper options were available. The watchdog also said companies were making six times more profit than they publicly declare.

Six months after the report, British Gas has now said it will ensure all existing and new customers can access its best deals. It also promised “energy health checks” for standard variable customers, which it says will ensure they are on the correct tariff.

Gas and electricity companies have repeatedly been accused of acting anti-competitively by raising prices in unison and taking months to lower them again when wholesale prices drop.

Energy prices have risen sharply in recent months, with the annual cost to supply a four-bedroom home now at £1,494. Four million UK households are struggling to pay their energy bills and almost half plan to cut their energy use this winter because of worries they cannot afford it, according to price comparison site, uSwitch. Of the 2,000 families surveyed 29 per cent said they will keep the heating off, even when their house is cold.

In a Christmas message to customers, British Gas pointed out that its standard variable tariff was already the second cheapest in the market.



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