Electricity bills are set to increase by 12.5 per cent with the higher prices set to come in on September 15, just as temperatures begin to drop.
The Big Six energy giant confirmed the price rise after a blunder on Monday saw the group mistakenly publish an incomplete statement about increasing electricity tariffs on its website.Related articles
GETTY•PABritish Gas electricity price increases will affect millions of Britons
The average annual dual-fuel bill for a typical household on a standard tariff will rise by £76 to £1,120, a 7.3 per cent increase.
However, gas prices will be held at their current level.
Centrica-owned British Gas 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.
Centrica Consumer chief executive Mark Hodges said: "We held off increasing prices for many months longer than most suppliers in order to protect our customers from rising costs, so it is a difficult decision to have to announce an increase in electricity prices.
GETTYBritish Gas is the biggest energy supplier in the country
"This rise reflects an underlying increase in policy and transmission costs."
Centrica chief executive Iain Conn told the BBC's Today programme that they were "selling electricity at a loss and that is not sustainable".
He added: "Our electricity prices have been the same since 2014. Since then we have seen significant pressures on cost in two areas - the transmission and distribution of electricity to the home and secondly government policy costs which are recouped through the bill."
Before the General Election, Theresa May announced plans for a cap on standard variable tariffs (SVT) which could have saved millions of people around £100 a year.
However, the news from British Gas suggested UK customers are set to see an increase in bills, rather than a fall.
GETTYThe news comes as temperatures are set to fall & is likely to affect millions of homes
Social media users have reacted angrily to news of the price hike.
One user wrote: “This is pure and simple GREED on British Gas part!!! I urge all of British Gas customers to switch to another energy company!!!”
Another added: “Increase of 12.5 per cent in British Gas electricity prices not justified. According to Ofgem suppliers costs gone down 9 per cent on dual fuel bill.”
Centrica’s half-year results show that earnings from its consumer business have 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 fell 26 per cent to £381million 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 per cent lower at £816million for the six