British Gas, the UK’s largest energy supplier has confirmed that it will be rising its domestic gas and electricity prices by an average of 6 percent as of November 16. The price rise will translate to an £80 hike for the average dual fuel user.

British Gas Managing Director, Phil Bentley, said: “We know that household budgets are under pressure and this rise will be unwelcome.  However, we simply cannot ignore the rising costs that are largely outside our control, but which make up most of the bill.

“Britain’s North Sea gas supplies are running out, and British Gas has to pay the going rate for gas in a competitive global marketplace. Furthermore, the investment needed to maintain and upgrade the national grid to deliver energy to our customers’ homes, and the costs of the Government’s policies for a clean, energy efficient Britain are all going up.

Bentley concluded: “We need an energy efficiency culture in Britain today; rising prices don’t have to mean rising bills.” 

In addition to dwindling North Sea gas supplies, British Gas has blamed the rise in “other costs behind energy bills”, namely; “Britain’s national grid requires a major upgrade, which is being funded through energy bills, and the costs of the Government’s policies that will ensure a clean, energy-efficient Britain, are also rising.  Together, these have added around £50 to the cost of supplying the average customer’s home this year, and are expected to add nearly £60 to the cost of supplying the average customer’s home next year.”

The news will provide solar installers with a brand new impetus to push solar as a compelling way to insulate homes from increasing energy price rises.

British Gas’ announcement follows the commitment of top-level Tories, George Osborne and Owen Paterson, to explore Shale gas production in the UK and commit to the use of unabated gas in the short to medium future.