British Gas profits soarParent company Centrica reveals £2 billion profits

24 February 2011

As Centrica, owner of British Gas, announces profits of over £2 billion and a 24% increase in British Gas profits, consumers may be left wondering why their energy bills continue to rise.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: 'Energy prices are the number one financial concern for consumers with many people struggling with their fuel bills after another cold winter.

'With a large portion of these profits likely to have come from UK households, it’s up to British Gas and the rest of the "big six" to convince their customers that energy prices are fair.

'Ofgem must use its review of the retail market to shine a light on just how our energy prices are calculated.'

Where do the profits go?

British Gas claims it reinvests its profits in consumers by offering free insulation to some of its customers, helping the most vulnerable with discounted fuel prices over the winter months, and investing in new energy.

Typically, around 40% of an energy bill covers the actual cost of the gas and electricity. Which? wants energy companies to be clearer on how energy prices are calculated and exactly where consumers money ends up.

If you want to comment on this story go to our Which? conversation post, British Gas profits soar but how do customers benefit?

Cheapest energy deals

To help you find the best deal easily we’ve set up our free switching service Which? Switch. Here you can compare your current tariff with hundreds of others available to you to work out if you’re getting the best deal.

Which? is also calling for minimum standard tariffs to be introduced, such as guaranteeing a tariff lasts for at least 12 weeks, rather than being increased as soon as you’ve switched to it, and getting rid of hidden charges. See our page on terrible energy tariffs for more and take action by using our template letter to email your MP.

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You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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