Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

British Gas Web Bungle Appears to Show Price Hike Announcement

  • Title of statement explaining prices briefly appears on web
  • Company’s standard price freeze due to expire in August

An incomplete statement briefly appeared on Centrica subsidiary British Gas’s website, promising to explain why it’s had to raise electricity prices. The statement, posted a day before the company reports half-year earnings, was promptly removed.

Screenshot of the statement, since removed from British Gas’s website.

Source: British Gas

Titled “Why we’ve had to raise electricity prices - our first increase since November 2013,” the post only contained the body text “blah blah,” suggesting the upload was unintentional. The statement appeared at noon U.K. time. A spokesman for British Gas told Bloomberg News the company did not post a statement, and does not speculate about future electricity pricing.

British Gas extended its price freeze in February, even as other “Big Six” rivals including Iberdrola SA’s Scottish Power and Innogy SE’s Npower raised prices. The cost of summer gas in the U.K., an industry benchmark, has fallen 8.3 percent since the extension of the freeze, which is due to expire in August.

Energy Secretary Greg Clark said in June the government was committed to extending price caps on domestic power and gas supplies to ensure customers don’t suffer as a result of “unfair” pricing by utilities.

— With assistance by Mathew Carr

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