Gas prices 'to rise by 70%'

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Business and household energy bills could increase by 70 per cent in the near future, according to a new study.

The report by Eclipse Energy Group, which was carried out for British Gas owner Centrica, revealed that falls in gas production will lead to a growing reliance on imported volumes from Europe.

It was also claimed that the link between gas and oil prices mean the cost of energy is set to increase.

Jake Ulrich, managing director of Centrica Energy, said: "We're part of a world economy and I don't think we can rely on UK production or cheap gas, cheap energy of any sort any more.

"I think it's a reality not only in the UK but in western Europe and North America - energy is going to become relatively much more expensive in the future."

Earlier this month, reports in the Times claimed that British Gas is considering the introduction of a new set of price rises in the next few months.

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