Householders wanting to secure cheap energy tariffs should switch gas deals today after British Gas announced an 18 per cent price rise.
The energy supplier also hiked domestic electricity rates by an average 16 per cent, with both new tariffs coming into effect on August 18th.
Managing director Phil Bentley commented: "We know there is never a good time to raise prices, but we are buying in a global energy market and have to pay the market rate."
Speculation about the price hike had been building since ScottishPower announced its own rates would rise next month, with gas customers paying an average 19 per cent more on their bills and those using electricity having to shell out an extra ten per cent.
Average wholesale costs for gas have risen 30 per cent since last winter, which have been driven by increased consumption in Asia and political upheaval in the Middle East.
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