Today, British Gas, the largest UK energy and home services company, announced it will keep its current gas and electricity prices on hold until August.

The company’s decision stands out at a time when other leading energy suppliers have announced price hikes from the spring onwards.

Scottish Power, part of the Iberdrola Group, a global energy company, said it will increase its dual fuel prices by an average of 7.8 percent from 31 March.

The company blamed smart meters and low carbon energy costs for the surge affecting an estimated 1.1m people.

Energy regulator Ofgem urged customers to consider other energy companies for a cheaper deal.

Earlier this month, Npower said its standard tariff electricity prices will rise by 15 percent and gas prices by 4.8 percent by 16 March.

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EDF Energy cut its gas prices by 5.2 percent last month in a move praised by consumers but its electricity prices are due tp rise by 8.4 percent from 1 March onwards.

“Our policy of buying electricity ahead of time has protected customers from the more recent volatility in wholesale prices, however non-wholesale energy costs have risen and we have been honest with customers about the future impact on prices, confirming that we are holding off increasing electricity prices until March,” an EDF spokesman said at the time.

In January, Ofgem warned the big six energy companies to refrain from increasing prices from March, despite the 15 percent rise in their costs.