Energy supplier boosted by cold weather in the past year
British Gas has today revealed healthy profits of £606m from residential energy supply, an 11% increase on the previous year. The company has stated that gas consumption had risen by 12% with the colder 2012 meaning that households were consuming more energy than before to keep warm. British Gas, like all the major energy suppliers, announced a price rise at the end of 2011 of 6% for gas and electricity.
British Gas owner Centrica also reported healthy results, with an adjusted operating profit of £2.7bn for 2012, a 14% rise on 2011. Defending the profits against criticism from media outlets, Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw commented that the firms’ profits per household had actually decreased in the past year and that the profit margin was needed to properly invest in new sources of energy.
Reacting to the announcement, Mark Todd director of independent price comparison service energyhelpline.com stated, “The UK domestic energy market is plagued by negative perceptions. Today’s announcement from Centrica of its 11% profit increase is certain to add fuel to this fire and cause widespread dismay.
For customers it’s the worst of times, and this upwards trend in both profits and prices appears unlikely to abate any time soon. Consumers need to realise they are in many ways on their own in this market and that they need to use their market power and shop around if they want to cut their bills.”
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