- 12 updates
Chancellor George Osborne has said that the sluggish economy must be fixed so that people can afford to pay higher energy bills.
Speaking to ITV News' Political Editor Tom Bradby, he dismissed Labour's pledge to freeze energy prices as a "con trick" and a "gimmick".
British Gas customers have expressed their anger over the company's latest price rise.
The energy giant announced today that electricity and gas prices will rise by 10.4 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively from November 23.
British Gas said the price rise was a "difficult decision" but necessary in the current climate.
The Prime Minister David Cameron described the rises as "disappointing" and urged people to try to save money by switching suppliers, while Labour has repeated its promise to freeze energy prices if it wins the next general election.
ITV News' Paul Davies reports:
British Gas are "brave" for hosting an online question and answer forum on the day of their latest price hike, consumer group Which? said.
Twitter users have already been sending messages to the company, before the session has even begun.
One user posted a picture of an old woman wrapped in blankets and huddled next to a heater, writing: "Do images like this help you sleep at night Bertie?".
Another said: "Hey @BritishGas how many vulnerable people do you think you will push into fuel poverty whilst continuing to make billions in profit?".
Tweeter Alan Gibbs added: "My parents 89 & 82 want to know more about the early signs of hypothermia, especially with the winter coming on."
British Gas have called on customers concerned about their latest energy price rise to contact them.
In a statement, the energy giant said: "We know that our customers will be concerned about today’s announcement and we will do our utmost to help people keep bills under control.
"Contact us on 0800 980 1917 if you’re worried and we’ll see what we can do – there’s a lot of help available.”
Customers can contact British Gas on 0800 980 1917 or visit their website for advice on their energy bills
Prime Minister David Cameron has described British Gas price rises as "disappointing" and urged people to try to save money by switching suppliers.
The latest British Gas price shows why a price freeze is needed more than ever, Labour said.
British Gas earlier announced that electricity and gas prices will rise by an average of 9.2 per cent from November 23.
Caroline Flint, Labour's Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: "These latest price rises show clearer than ever why Labour’s price freeze is needed.
"People are sick and tired of being left out of pocket because of David Cameron’s failure to stand up to the energy companies."
Labour promised to freeze energy prices until 2017 if it won the next general election, at their annual conference in September.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said British Gas' numbers "just don't add up" after the firm raised its electricity and gas prices.
Mr Davey said the increases are "extremely disappointing news for British Gas’ customers, and the company will need to justify this decision openly and transparently."
He continued: “I recently wrote to energy companies asking them to publish their costs of delivering the Energy Company Obligation.
"Today’s announcement shows why that’s necessary, because British Gas’ ECO numbers just don’t add up when you look at what other energy companies are saying about their costs.”
British Gas have said raising energy prices was a "difficult decision" but necessary due to the increasing cost of buying energy in global markets.
The energy giant said they recognised energy bill were a "real worry for hard-pressed households".
A statement read:
Latest ITV News reports
Customers have used a pre-scheduled Q&A session on Twitter to vent their rage at British Gas' plans to hike average energy prices by 9.2%
British Gas may have regretted hosting an question and answer forum just hours after announcing an above-inflation price hike.