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Brace yourself

British Gas coquettishly hinted on Tuesday that their scheduled price rise may happen 'within weeks', but it now looks as though a 20 percent rise in the cost of gas could be on the cards for this Friday.

Ian Peters, British Gas managing director of energy, told the Energy & Climate Change Committee that: 'Unless there is a fundamental shift in the way the commodity markets are going to play out in the next few weeks, then on the balance of probability we will reluctantly put the price up.'

He added: 'I'm not going to get drawn into precisely when or how.'

But Mark Todd of price comparison service energyhelpline.com, fears the increase could be imminent. 'Energy companies often announce price rises on Fridays. If I were a betting man, my money would be on this Friday or next,' he commented.

'I expect British Gas to raise its gas prices by between 18 percent and 20 percent and its electricity prices by between 8 percent and 9 percent.'

Rising energy prices are, according to Which?, consumers' number one worry, with 84 percent of its members expressing concern over the rising cost of gas and electricity.

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