British Gas profits a “slap in the face” for fuel poverty

Households struggling to cope with debt management issues and fuel poverty may view recent profits unveiled by British Gas’ parent company as a “slap in the face”, it has been suggested.

Robert Hammond, an energy expert for Consumer Focus, claimed that customers may feel resentful towards the multi-million pound profits being made by Centrica when it has only made “meagre” price cuts.

He called upon regulator Ofgem to put tackle “unfair pricing penalties” imposed on many “vulnerable” people in the UK, arguing that falls in wholesale energy costs must be passed on to the public.

“Customers who pay by cash, cheque and pre-payment meter are still consistently being overcharged,” Mr Hammond remarked, adding that social tariffs are “failing to reach” people who need debt help.

Centrica Energy, part of the parent organisation of British Gas, recently announced its energy profits were up 33 per cent in 2008, while the group’s operating profits stood at £1,942 million.

By Jamie Price

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