BRITISH Gas is to increase prices for 3.5 million customers, its parent company Centrica has announced.
The 3.8% increase in its standard variable tariff (SVT) from 1 October means the average bill will rise by £44, taking it to £1,205 a year.
This is the second increase this year, but Centrica said wholesale energy prices had risen since the last time.
The SVT was withdrawn for new customers in March and 2.4 million customers on fixed rates are unaffected.
The company, the biggest energy supplier in the UK, said its average bill was still “just below” the average of other large energy suppliers.
“We understand that any price increase adds extra pressure on customers’ household bills. However, this reflects the sharp rise in wholesale energy costs,” said Mark Hodges, chief executive of Centrica’s consumer arm.
Customers who do not pick a new tariff when they come off fixed-rate deals are now put on its new temporary tariff, which will also increase by 3.8% from 1 October. British Gas said a typical dual-fuel customer would pay £1,180 on this tariff. It has 250,000 customers on this tariff.