Showing posts with label Centrica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Centrica. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Investors first and foremost

On Wednesday, British Gas raised gas bills by 35% with immediate effect, to restore "reasonable profitability".
Profits were £992m in the first six months of 2008 , £5m-per-day profits .
"This is a business that has got a million shareholders - a lot of pension funds and people have got their savings invested in British Gas shares and we have to look after them". Centrica's chief executive said.

One-in-three pensioners are likely to be in fuel poverty this winter Age Concern's head of public affairs said.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

British Gas Prices

Latest estimates put 4.5 million UK households in fuel poverty; spending more than 10 per cent of their income on gas and electricity. Just one month after British Gas increased energy bills by 15 per cent British Gas, the country's biggest energy supplier, is expected to announce a 500 per cent rise in profits today.

"It's quite sickening when companies make these huge profits while, at the same time, we are expecting 25,000 excess winter deaths as a result of people not being able to keep warm," said Lesley Davies, the chairman of the National Right to Fuel Campaign. "They prattle on about the winter fuel payments for pensioners but there are just as many single-parent families and others who cannot get the payment."

And like other businesses it isn't only the customer that is suffering but also the employees - The GMB union complained that as well as "fleecing its customers and making record profits" British Gas was scrapping its final-salary pension scheme.

But Capitalism and the competitive market benefits the consumer surely - or at least that is what the capitalist economics textbooks like to state .

In all, 20 active suppliers have reduced to six companies . These big six energy companies are both producers or generators and retailers. That means they make money when the wholesale price is high and they make money when the wholesale price is low. In the most contested part of the market place – the average direct debit, dual fuel customer – only £13 separates the offers from the five companies which have raised prices so far. An average consumer switching from one such deal to another stands to save 25 pence a week.

Capitalism - Delivering a service - But for a price .