British Gas chief warns hike in energy prices will continue

 
Kasmira Jefford
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HOUSEHOLD energy bills will continue to rise despite government measures, industry bosses warned yesterday as government ministers met the “Big Six” energy companies for talks.

Phil Bentley, the managing director of British Gas said that prices in the longer term would keep increasing because of the rising cost of gas on the international market and increasing competition for gas from the Middle East.

“It is an inconvenient truth that unit prices of energy are going to go up,” he told the BBC yesterday.

His comments came as ministers met with the big six energy companies, consumer groups and watchdog Ofgem to discuss how to make it easier for consumers to switch suppliers and help them save on the winter energy bills.

Prime Minister David Cameron said letters will be sent to more than eight million customers “to encourage them to shop around” to get the cheapest possible deal they can for their energy.

He ensured that energy suppliers are being “permanently watched by Ofgem to make sure it is a competitive market.”

All of Britain’s major energy companies announced price hikes between June and September, with the average annual energy bill forecast to reach £1,293 next month.

Ahead of the summit, British Gas, Scottish Power and Npower promised not to raise prices again this winter.