British Gas is today bracing itself for a backlash following rumours that its parent company Centrica will announce a 15% increase in profits, which works out at £50 per British Gas customer.
The UK’s largest energy supplier raised its gas and electricity prices for domestic customers by 6% in October 2012, driving up the average price of an average household bill for a dual fuel customer from £1,260 to £1,336 a year.
Energy costs have increasingly become a political issue as more households struggle to afford the cost to heat their home. Watchdog Ofgem has warned suppliers that changes will have to be made to the energy market to make it more consumer friendly.
Last week, a series of measures were announced to try and shake-up the industry, including a reduction in the number of tariffs and automatically switching customers to the cheapest tariff available, but was criticised as ‘falling short of delivering a healthy, competitive market’.
Despite the criticism, Centrica is reported to believe its profits are necessary for investment in the UK energy infrastructure,into which it invested £2.7 billion last year.
Domestic energy bills are likely to see a levy to support the UK’s investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Last month, the government launched the Green Deal in attempt to help customers keep their energy use down.
The Green Deal works in a similar fashion to a loan, made to allow customers to carry out energy efficiency work and pay it back on their energy bills. However, the customer is not required to pay back more than they save on their energy bill.