British Gas is expected to announce a hike in electricity prices today in a direct snub to the Government.
The news will form part of an announcement by parent company Centrica of its latest trading data and profits for the past six months.
Any increase in prices ahead of the winter is at odds with concerns about high energy bills raised by Theresa May.
Before the general election, the prime minister 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.
British Gas is expected to announce a hike in electricity prices today
Expectations of a price rise were fuelled by a website blunder by British Gas staff yesterday.
An incomplete statement briefly appeared on the website at noon promising to explain why it has had to raise electricity prices.
It was titled ‘Why we’ve had to raise electricity prices - our first increase since November 2013.’ However, the body of the text read only ‘blah blah’, suggesting the upload was an error.
It was quickly removed from the website and British Gas subsequently refused to comment, beyond saying it does not speculate about future electricity pricing.
Such announcements are highly sensitive because they can affect share prices. Consequently, there are strict rules on how they are made, including timing, which is normally early in the day before stock markets open.
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