After British Gas announce huge price rise another energy boss promises live on air to DROP prices by five percent

A family run energy company has hit out at British Gas for their huge 12.5% bill rise and instead announced live on air on the BBC that they will be reducing prices for their customers by 5 per cent.

The move comes as British Gas became the last of the big six energy providers to hike their bills bringing misery to millions of customers and fears that other providers will now raise their prices too.

Britain’s fastest growing energy firm Fischer Energy, who are based in Leicester, decided to buck the trend in the industry and slash their prices as British Gas were being accused of “sheer greed” and “Dick Turpin energy” this week.

Keith Bastian, head of Fischer Energy, said: “Loyal customers are once again being punished by British Gas, the increase is wholly unacceptable and will only put further pressure on hard-working families struggling with household bills.”

“Customers are paying the price for bloated inefficiency and corporate greed. A price cap should have been introduced before they had the chance to exploit their customers even further.

Mr Bastian revealed the reduction live on a current affairs programme on BBC Radio Leicester yesterday,

Speaking to broadcaster Jonathan Lampon, Mr Bastian said: “We are trying to make a difference, it’s very fair and simple. I’ve looked at the market and made an honest appraisal of where we are. The fairest thing I can do is announce a price drop!”

“A price drop!” retorted journalist Jonathan Lampon.

“Yes, Fischer energy will be dropping prices up to 5 per cent on Sept 1 ready for people and their winter!” said Mr Bastian.

“Look I might have to cancel my dual fuel deal now!” joked Mr Lampon

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The price reduction of up to 5% in Fischer’s electricity tariff is set to help customers save an average of £35.68 a year.

The company, which provides 100% renewable electricity and gas, said it is passing savings back to customers achieved through strong growth, improved business efficiency and a drop in wholesale prices. The price reduction will take effect from September 1st.

The move by the independent supplier to drop prices is in stark contrast to the recently announced 12.5% electricity increase by the UK’s largest and most profitable supplier, British Gas.

Mr Bastian added: “Customers want change for the energy industry. People are sick of being ripped-off and are beginning to realise that there are far better and fairer options. We have made it clear to our customers that if we can pass savings on to them, we will, and that is why we have decided to bring down the cost of our electricity”.

British Gas logo

British Gas’s eye-watering 12.5 per cent hike in electricity prices is due to start next month and is a direct snub to the Government and its 3.1 million customers.

The huge increase in prices from September 15 – ahead of the winter – is at odds with concerns about high energy bills raised by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Before the general election, Mrs May announced plans for a cap that could save millions of people on standard variable tariffs (SVT) around £100 a year.

However, the move by British Gas suggests millions of families and pensioners will see an increase in bills, rather than a fall.

The firm said the price rise is its first since November 2013 and the group pledged to help protect more than 200,000 vulnerable customers from the increase.

Details of the increase comes as British Gas owner Centrica posted half-year results revealing that earnings from its consumer business plunged by more than a quarter after it lost 377,000 UK customer accounts in the first half.

Underlying operating profits from its UK home energy supply arm tumbled 26% to £381 million as the group said it was also hit by warmer than normal temperatures and the pre-payment tariff cap.

Centrica’s overall underlying operating profits were 4% lower at £816 million for the six months to June 30.

The group said it held off from the price rise a for ‘up to six months longer than some of our competitors’.

The price hike will mean an average dual fuel bill for a typical annual household tariff will rise by £76 to £1,120 – a 7.3 per cent increase, according to British Gas.


The group said it will give more than 200,000 customers receiving a warm home discount a £76 credit to offset the tariff increase.

Social media users reacted with fury to the news of the British Gas price hike this morning

British Gas is the last of the Big Six providers to increase prices after it promised in December last year to freeze tariffs until August.

Read more: Martin Lewis apologises after swearing live on air during heated rant on This Morning

British Gas is the last of the Big Six providers to increase prices after it promised in December last year to freeze tariffs until August.

The group insisted its overall electricity costs had increased by 16 per cent since 2014.

But the move flies in the face of the Government, which made a pre-election pledge to introduce a price cap, although that has since been watered down to cover vulnerable households only.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell labelled the price hike ‘extortionate’ as Labour said it showed the Government had failed to rein in soaring energy bills.

And Alan Whitehead, shadow energy and climate change minister, said: ‘Today’s announcement shows that the Conservative Government has still not got a grip on the broken energy market, with companies raising prices yet again.’

‘At the very least the Conservatives should institute the energy price cap which Theresa May promised during the campaign,’ he added.

But Iain Conn, the chief executive of Centrica, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that while the commodity price of electricity had come down, it was facing ‘significant cost pressure’ on transmission and distribution, as well as costs associated with Government policy.

He added: ‘The net effect of both of these is an increase of about £62 on the average bill, and that is the main driver of the increase, combined with the fact that our electricity prices at British Gas have been some of the cheapest in the market, and actually we’re now selling our electricity at a loss, which is clearly not sustainable.’

Mr Conn went on to say the energy market ‘does need to be and could be reformed’, but warned a price cap would reduce competition.

‘We’re actually proposing that the Government are even bolder and instead of capping standard variable tariff, they should reform it so that it’s removed altogether so that contracts that don’t have any end are actually phased out and that the level playing field is created so that all suppliers pay the Government’s costs,’ Mr Conn said.

‘Currently only the large suppliers pay these, and we don’t think that’s good for the market.’

The Government also says its policy costs make up a relatively small proportion of household energy bills and cannot by themselves explain price rises announced by energy suppliers.

British Gas and Centrica have suffered from the fact last winter was relatively warm and demand for central heating was lower than expected. At the same time, British Gas has lost thousands of customers to cheaper rivals.

Some industry analysts argue that falls in the wholesale price of gas and electricity should see cuts in energy bills rather than increases.

Mr Conn, who received a 40 per cent pay rise in 2016 taking the total to £4.15 million, recently hinted price rises were on the way and suggested the company’s costs have risen.

Energy firms have blamed price rises in the past 18 months on increases in green taxes to subsidise a switch to wind and solar power.

They have also pointed to the cost of support for poor households by, for installing, subsidised loft insulation. On top of that, billions of pounds is being spent on installing smart meters, a cost that is added to all household bills.

The Government’s promise of a price cap for all households on standard variable rate tariffs appears to have been watered down in recent months.

Instead, the industry regulator, Ofgem, has been asked to find ways to cut bills for a smaller number of so-called vulnerable households.

Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead told Today that Centrica’s plans amounted to a ‘whopping price increase’, adding that all the Big Six energy companies had now put prices up at a time wholesale prices had come down.

The Labour MP said: ‘On the face of it, it doesn’t appear to be justifiable at all.

‘What the Government should have done about it, because there was an agreement, essentially, coming into the election, that there should be a price cap operating across the market, and also action should be taken on the standard variable tariffs that so many customers are on. It is indeed still our policy and was our policy going into the election.

‘Unfortunately the Government has decided, despite having that in their manifesto, that they’re not going to do that now and that’s something we’d want to press them to change their minds on, because it’s really important now that energy prices are stabilised and we need a cap to do that.’

Head of research for consumer collective the Big Deal, Ed Molyneux, said: ‘A British Gas price rise is completely unjustifiable. They should be cutting prices not raising them.’

He added: ‘If the Government acted to bring in the price cap it promised this behaviour would stop.’

Claire Osborne, energy expert at, said: ‘With these hikes set to kick in just before the winter, this is a body blow for consumers.

‘At a time when living costs are rising faster than wages, this hike could push many families into the red. Customers should not be lulled into a false sense of security.

‘The British Gas standard tariff remains the cheapest among the Big Six but it is still £286 more expensive that the cheapest deal on the market today.’

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: ‘Energy firms should treat all their customers fairly and we’re concerned this price rise will hit many people already on poor-value tariffs.

‘In response to a letter from the Business and Energy Secretary asking what action the regulator intended to take to safeguard customers on the poorest value tariffs and the future of the standard variable tariff, Ofgem has committed to taking prompt action, in consultation with consumer experts, to develop proposals including a safeguard tariff. We want to see rapid progress on this commitment.’

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