When British Gas announced their 12.5% price rise in August this year, we at the Big Deal, together with 3.1 million customers, were left stunned.

British Gas executive Iain Conn blamed “transmission and distribution and government policy costs” for the increase. [1]

But we feel this is a poor excuse for lumping already hard-up families with hefty price hikes.

We set about investigating and were shocked by what we found.

3 reasons why we feel the price rise is totally unjustifiable:


1. Bulging pay packets

A 12.5% price rise is particularly hard to stomach when you find out Iain Conn helped himself to a 40% pay rise last year. That brings his salary to a monumental £4.15 million a year. [2]

It seems incredibly unfair that a price rise hits millions of ordinary families in the pocket while its executive walks home with millions in pay packages.

Not only that, it’s also difficult to see how it can a pay rise can be justified when British Gas actually lost 400,000 customers last year…[3]

2. Not price rises – cuts!

Our own analysis of Ofgem data shows that British Gas should in fact be cutting bills as the overall costs for energy companies – including wholesale, network and policy costs – have fallen by 9% since December 2016.

Ofgem Supplier Cost Index between December 2016 and January 2016

MonthDecember 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017Cut in costs between December 2016 and May 2017
Supplier Cost Index for Dual Fuel104.7 98.5101.9 100.196.395.78.6%

We made sure to share this info with ITV and BBC News, as well as the Evening Standard and the Mirror, by the way.

3. Winter is coming

15th of September might seem an odd date to kick in a price rise you might think? But it makes total sense for the energy giants.

You see, as it starts to get darker – we put more lights on, as it gets colder – we stick the heating on…

Essentially as we use more energy, British Gas are able to capitalise on our higher energy usage.

Doesn’t seem all that coincidental anymore does it?

In fact, this isn’t the first time crafty seasonal tactics have been used by energy big dogs. By delaying their price cuts last year until after winter, British Gas saved an extra £39 million [5].

What do you think?

Do you think this is fair? We want to hear your thoughts!

Comment below or head to our Facebook page by clicking here 

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[1] http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/british-gas-slammed-hiking-electricity-10909138

[2] https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/british-gas-electricity-price-hike-the-ultimate-slap-in-face-for-families-a3601091.html

[3] http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-4251934/British-Gas-loses-400-000-customers-year.html

[4] Ofgem Supplier Cost Index shows a 9% decrease in wholesale prices for a dual fuel customer between December 2016 and May 2017.https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/electricity/retail-market/retail-market-monitoring/understanding-trends-energy-prices#thumbchart-c8329010666635703-n106412

[5] http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/greedy-energy-giants-make-extra-7354059

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