Huge profits for Centrica and British Gas amid energy price misery

31 July 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
While consumers reel from the shock of one hike in energy prices after another, British Gas and Centrica, its owner, have announced profits of £166million and £992million respectively.

Two price rises from British Gas within a six month period have left customers paying a lot more for their fuel bills - 56 per cent more for gas and 25 per cent more for electricity. But, Centrica and British Gas have also suffered a weakening in profits of 19 per cent and 69 per cent compared to last year's.

"British Gas now has the most expensive standard tariff on the market at over £1300 a year - that's more than £110 a month." Scott Byrom, utilities manager at moneysupermarket.com, comments. "However, its Click Energy 5 online deal is still the best tariff in the whole of the energy market at £845 a year, saving customers £40 a month.

"British Gas has pledged not to increase prices again this year for customers on standard tariffs. I advise all customers, especially those languishing on a standard tariff, to look for the best possible deal. While online tariffs still offer the market leading deals, these products are variable and are at risk to further price hikes."

Mr Byrom warns those who want to avoid further gas and electricity

price hikes as much as possible by fixing their energy prices, that capped deals are dropping like flies and that they should switch energy provider, or move onto their existing provider's fixed rate if they have one, as soon as possible before they become extinct.

This week has seen EDF, British Gas and ScottishPower all pull some of the most competitive deals from the market, so time is of the essence; npower has already withdrawn all of its fixed rate plans.

Just three fixed rate deals remain on the market – British Gas, EDF and E.ON, but there are no guarantees that they will still be there tomorrow.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd