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On Thursday dismay will be the default mode for millions of British Gas customers as Britain's biggest energy suppliers increase their price tariffs.

British Gas supplies energy to half the UK's households, which means that 50 percent of us will see the annual dual fuel bill rise by £190 a year to £1,219, bringing the monthly outlay over £100 for the first time.

British Gas is not the only energy provider to raise its prices. Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy, E.ON and Npower have all announced similar price hikes.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: 'As we head into autumn, the majority of British households will be facing the reality of substantially higher energy prices.

'This is going to put significant strain on family finances and will create considerable concern over winter energy bills this year.'

Household incomes are already squeezed for those affected by the rises, with steep petrol and food prices making the cost of living ever higher.

According to Consumer Focus, British Gas has increased prices by 44 percent and 21 percent respectively since 2008. It has called for a review into the energy market and for less complex bills and greater transparency.

The energy firms in turn blame the rising wholesale price of energy for increased energy costs. This has incensed consumer groups, who point out that wholesale costs are now a third lower than they were at their peak in 2008.

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