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British Gas price freeze shows that raising prices isn’t the only option

10 February 2017

Responding to news that British Gas will freeze its prices until August 2017, Citizens Advice has said this shows that energy firms can choose to keep their customers’ bills down.

Scottish Power has also announced that from 31 March it will raise its prices by 7.8% on average for a dual fuel customer.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy, said:

“British Gas’ price freeze shows that raising prices isn’t a supplier’s only option. This demonstrates that larger energy firms can choose to keep their customers’ bills down.  

“Yet Scottish Power’s price rise is the second from a supplier in a week that will hit loyal customers on the more expensive standard tariff hardest.

“In the last few years larger suppliers frequently failed to cut the bills of their loyal customers on the standard tariff when wholesale costs were lower. These firms should now be looking to ways to support their customers where possible - freezing prices is one way to do this.

“The government is right to say it will intervene if markets aren’t working for their customers. One way government could help struggling households would be to extend the prepayment meter cap to those on credit meters who are eligible to receive the Warm Homes Discount, helping low-income pensioners and families.”

Citizens Advice has an independent online price comparison tool that can help people work out how much they could save by switching.

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.