British Gas rules out fuel bill cutsIt says wholesale prices are rising again

03 August 2007

 

A blue flame from a gas hob

Although there is no 'green gas', you can still switch your energy supplier to a green tariff

Despite announcing profits of £533 million from the first six months of the year, British Gas says it’s not planning further cuts to fuel bills.

Parent company Centrica said profitability would now fall as wholesale gas became more expensive.

British Gas returned to the black - following losses of £143 million a year earlier - after cheaper wholesale gas costs were not passed on to customers until March and April.

But a spokesman for independent consumer watchdog Energywatch said: ‘UK businesses and households are paying too much for their energy and prices should be coming down now. There is plenty of scope for more cuts.’

Unpredictable weather

However, Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said wholesale gas prices had begun to rise again, mainly due to recent spikes in oil prices, which reached a record high on Wednesday.

He said: ‘The second half of the year will be much tougher. Looking forward from today, price cuts are unlikely.’

Mr Laidlaw added: ‘Wholesale gas prices for the coming winter are high and there is still uncertainty over the level of price volatility and customer demand due to unpredictable weather patterns.’

You could also be paying more for your energy depending on what area of the country you live in.

Switch with Which?

As our tables below show, Britain’s six main energy providers charge different prices across the UK’s 14 energy regions.

That’s because energy companies that were the dominant supplier in a region before deregulation – or those that already have a large market share – usually charge more for their standard tariffs than companies trying to increase their customer base.

If you've never switched supplier you're getting a poorer deal than those who have.

On average in 2006, households using Switch with Which? saved £245 year, with first-time switchers most likely to make big savings – up to £500 in some cases.