December 21, 2017 / 10:39 AM / a year ago

Household energy bills rose by 1.1 percent this year - provisional data

LONDON (Reuters) - Average household energy bills in Britain increased by 1.1 percent this year based on current prices, provisional data from the government showed on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO - Electricity pylons are seen in London, Britain August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

The combined average annual domestic bill - both gas and electricity - increased to 1,250 pounds this year from 1,236 pounds last year.

In 2016, the combined bill was 4.7 percent lower than 2015’s figure of 1,297 pounds, final government data earlier this year showed.

The government has asked market regulator Ofgem to impose a price cap on the retail energy sector after concerns that British households were overpaying due to uncompetitive standard energy tariffs.

The move has piled pressure on Britain’s big energy suppliers to offer cheaper deals. Utilities have long said the bigger bills are partly caused by rising government energy policy costs, including renewable energy subsidies.

Provisional data published by the government showed average domestic electricity bills increased by 5.7 percent to 619 pounds in 2017 from 586 pounds a year earlier.

This compares to a rise of 0.4 percent in 2016 from 583 pounds in 2015.

However, the average annual gas bill decreased by 2.9 percent to 631 pounds from 650 pounds a year earlier.

This compares to a drop of 8.9 percent in 2016 from 714 pounds.

These calculations are based on standard consumptions of 3,800 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year for electricity and 15,000 kWh per year for gas, the government said.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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