uSwitch.com Advises British Gas Customers Not to Fix Their Energy Bills Following Record Price Hikes

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With a 14.2 percent price increase in gas prices and a 14.2 percent increase for electricity, uSwitch.com sees website traffic quadruple.

The amount of people visiting our website has already quadrupled and we would urge more British Gas customers to go online to find a better deal.

http://www.uSwitch.com is urging British Gas customers not to be panicked into fixing their gas and electricity bills with the energy giant following record price hikes of 14.2 percent for gas and electricity bills, effective from September 19, 2005.

The fixed product, which is being heavily marketed by British Gas, offers customers the chance to fix their energy bills until 2010, albeit at a premium rate for gas with redemption penalties of up to £75 if people withdraw before the end of the fixed period.

Alan Tattersall, Director of Home Services at http://www.uSwitch.com, the independent switching and comparison service is skeptical about British Gas’ motives, "On the face of it, with prices increasing and the future uncertain, a price freeze seems an attractive proposition. Fixing prices until 2010 may seem like a good idea now, but with experts predicting a downward turn in prices by 2007, customers may end up being locked into an artificially high tariff."

The British Gas price rise is the largest single hike from any supplier this year and will see the average family bill rocket £104* to a staggering £821** per year.

Tattersall concludes, "British Gas has made much of blaming wholesale gas prices for its recent price hike, and whilst there is no getting away from the fact that wholesale gas prices have risen this year, there is no explanation as to why British Gas remains on average £106 more expensive than other suppliers in the marketplace.

"The amount of people visiting our website has already quadrupled and we would urge more British Gas customers to go online to find a better deal."

For more information visit http://www.uSwitch.com or call 0800 093 06 07.

For more information please contact:

Lucy Gaynor, uSwitch.com on 020 7 802 2967

Alison Merrigan, Lansons Communications on 020 7 294 3634

Beverley Aujla, Lansons Communications on 020 7 294 3683

uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and phone based comparison and switching service which helps consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, home telephone, digital television and personal finance products. Our aim is to help customers take advantage of the best tariffs and services on offer from every supplier. The company has developed a calculator which evaluates a number of factors including price, location, service and payment method, and advises consumers on the best deal to suit their needs.

If they chose to, consumers can switch while they’re online or phone customer services direct.

The service is also available via telephone, fax and post. Consumers can call on 0800 093 06 07, fax 020 7233 5933 or write to Customer Services, uSwitch.com, 10th Floor, Portland House, Stag Place, London, SW1E 5BH, with their postcode and usage details.

uSwitch.com is not a supplier but acts as an independent advisor, giving consumers an impartial view of what’s on offer. Unlike traditional brokers, it compares prices from all energy suppliers, not just those it has a commercial relationship with. The service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by the supplier companies and industry regulators.

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