A blog post

Household spending squeeze continues with British Gas price hike

Posted on the 12 July, 2011 at 12:57 pm Written by in Blog, Feed In Tariff, Fuel prices, Government, Incentives

British Gas became the first of the 5 remaining “big-six” energy suppliers to follow Scottish powers announcement to increase it’s gas and electricity prices, putting further pressure on household purses.

Gas bills will rise by an average 18% and electricity bills by an average of 16%. The change will affect nine million households with the average dual fuel customer paying an extra £190 a year.

British Gas managing director Phil Bentley said its bills were being driven higher by the fact that the company buys 50% of its gas on the international wholesale market, which has seen the wholesale cost of gas go up by 30% since last winter.

The company said it had been selling energy at a loss for the past three or four months.

Spending squeeze

In June, Scottish Power became the first of the big-six energy suppliers to announce another set of price increases. It said it would raise the cost of gas by 19% and the cost of electricity by 10% at the start of August.

“Average household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer will now go up from £1,096 to £1,288,” said the price comparison service Uswitch.

“In total, British Gas customers will have seen their bills shoot up by £258 or 25% within a year, taking them from £1,030 a year to £1,288,” Uswitch added.

Oliver Yeates, Director at renewable energy installers PV FIT, said “the scary thing about the latest price increases is that they are caused by a large percentage of energy being bought on the world markets. This problem just isn’t going to go away if the Government maintain the status quo and do not increase investment in renewable sources of energy”.

“The PV Feed-In Tariff (PV FIT) is proving to be a very popular scheme that is boosting uptake of renewables across the UK. In the short time the scheme has been operating we’ve seen a dramatic increase in uptake and also seen costs come down. Despite this the Governments recent decision to reduce FIT’s for larger scale projects above 50kW saw investor confidence drop, which is only now starting to recover but not to the level we experienced prior to the cuts”.

“We need a commitment from government that they will step up support for the renewables sector in particular, as we have seen in Germany for nearly a decade, as this is the only way the industry can help fill the void left by our depleted natural resources, and our reduce our reliance on imported energy which is susceptible to ‘world issues’ as we’ve seen in Libya and the Middle-East”.

According to the Energy Saving Trust average household consumes 3300kWh (units) of electricity per year. A 16 panel (3.92kW) solar pv installation, which typically takes 1 day to complete, on a South facing roof can generate 3365kWh, offering income and savings of £1744 per year. These savings can be increased by changes in usage habits, such as using washing machine or dishwasher during the day instead of at night, plus they are index linked to RPI and tax free for 25 years.

PV FIT offer a free solar survey service over the phone using aerial and streetview imagery to establish the location and number of solar panels you can fit on your roof, and quickly establish a fixed price and anticipated return on investment.

“Our customers like our telephone surveys they are unobtrusive and only take up 20 minutes of their time, compared to 2 hours for a home visit. We are often in the position to email a fixed price quotation within 24 hours of their call, with the ability to start work on site within 2-3 weeks from date of their order” said Dave Houston of PV FIT.

“We have a large number of happy customers across the UK whom have gone through this process and are more than happy to speak to anyone looking to invest in a solar pv from PV FIT”.

Getting a PV FIT quotation is simple, call 0344 567 9032 (4.6p/min peak or free from most contract mobile providers) or fill in our web form and we will call you.

For more information see PV FIT

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