Domestic Gas Bills Could Soon Cost over Pounds 1,000 a Year
Byline: By Lizzie Robinson
Gas prices are set to soar and remain high for the foreseeable future, a report has revealed.
The independent report commissioned by Centrica, which owns British Gas, warns prices could increase 70 per cent.
Jake Ulrich, managing director of Centrica Energy, admitted price rises were likely to lead to a "potentially significant" rise in the number of people in fuel poverty.
He also predicted people would have to change habits to deal with higher prices.
He said: "I think we will see people change behaviour. I think people will use less energy and I hate to go back to the Jimmy Carter days in the US but maybe it's two jumpers instead of one. I think people will change the temperature they keep the house, they'll be more cognisant of energy waste, they'll buy better appliances."
Gas prices will continue to rise for some time, he said.
"We're part of a world economy and I don't think we can rely on UK production or cheap gas, cheap energy of any sort any more.
"I think it's a reality not only in the UK but in Western Europe and North America - energy is going to become relatively much more expensive."
Gas and electricity watchdog energy watch called on the Government to act to reduce the pressure on wholesale prices and force the industry to deliver affordable energy for Britain's poorest consumers.
Chief Executive Allan Asher said: "The Government is right to say the link to oil is a cause but wrong to say there is nothing that can be done. The local impact is so catastrophic it should be leading the international drive to end the hugely damaging and entirely unjustifiable link between the prices of gas and oil.
"Rampaging oil prices are a serious and global contagion. That does not mean we should just take to our beds and hope the fever passes.
"Government can and should act in those areas where it can have an effect. …