British Gas energy price rise hits 8.5m homes

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British Gas will today hit their customers with a new six per cent rise on their energy bills.

The  increase will see around 8.5 million households affected, with  a dual-fuel bill set to put the average consumer a further£80 out of pocket - taking the average bill total to a staggering £1,336 .

The latest increase was initially planned next month, but has been more frustrating to consumers in the light of latest figures from Centrica, the owners of British Gas, announcing that they expect to see a £1.4 billion profit this year.

The firm further expects to see profits of £575 million pre tax from its residential arm, an increase that has been boosted due to the cold weather this year increasing most households gas consumption by around nine per cent on the same ten month period last year.

Centrica said: "This reflects colder than normal weather in the year to date following an unusually warm 2011, but also underlying reductions in demand due to energy efficiency measures undertaken by customers."

British Gas is just the latest of the Big Six energy firms, all part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme, to bump up their prices this year with only E.on thus far failing to do so - standing by a promise they made that they would not rise their prices this year.

Head of business and environment at trade union Unison, Mike Jeram, has slammed all of the energy companies who have increased their bills this year in spite of a weakened economy which has seen many households struggle to make ends meet.

He said: "The billion pound profits of energy companies, announced at the same time as massive price hikes for their customers, are an insult to the many families who are struggling to get by as winter takes hold."

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