British Gas paved the way for more pain by revealing that wholesale gas costs for next winter have risen by 15%
ENERGY bills could rocket to a record high this summer with prices soaring by nearly a fifth, experts have warned.
British Gas paved the way for more pain yesterday by revealing that wholesale gas costs for next winter have risen by 15%.
On top of that, suppliers will be forced to pass on other costs outside their control of around £50 per household.
British Gas, the country’s biggest supplier, said: “The trend for retail energy costs therefore remains upwards.”
Mark Todd, director at the website Energyhelpline.com, said: “From what we are hearing, other suppliers are under similar pressures, so price rises across the board are very possible.
“Wholesale gas increases of 15% typically translate to bill increases of 10%, so we could expect the average bill to rise by around £80 a year.
“On top of this, British Gas has also said that other costs have increased by £50 per household. In total, this would translate to a £130-a-year, or 19%, gas price rise.
“This would take the average UK gas and electricity bill to nearly £1,500 a year, the highest ever.”
British Gas announced a 5% cut in electricity bills in January.
But this followed a 16% hike in electricity prices and an 18% rise in gas prices last August.
The supplier is expected to grow profits by around 13% to nearly £600million this year after slashing costs, including hundreds of jobs, and despite a mild winter reducing demand for gas and electricity.
Owner Centrica benefitted from higher wholesale prices last winter, as it is a major producer.
Finance chief Nick Luff defended higher profits, highlighting the £1.4bn of investment announced recently to guarantee supplies.