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British Gas, owned by Centrica, is putting up its domestic gas and electricity prices from 18 August. Gas bills will rise by an average of 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.
It was only last December that they increased the price by 7% that is 25% increase in costs in 8 months.
The company blamed the rising wholesale cost of gas, which has gone up by 30% since last winter.
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. "We are buying in a global energy market and have to pay the market rate," he said. "Rising wholesale costs is an issue facing all energy suppliers," he added.
The company said it had been selling energy at a loss for the past three or four months. "After we put these prices up we will be making a fair return," Ian Peters, a British Gas director told BBC News. "We are investing in the future energy supply of the UK... and energy efficiency in our customers' homes," he added.
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