We understand that household budgets are under pressure and our decision to increase prices is unwelcome news.
Following the many comments posted via social media we would like to reassure our customers that we are listening and do understand their worries and concerns.
We want to explain why we have had to increase prices, how it affects you and the help available to keep energy costs down. Energy prices may be rising, but bills don’t have to.
In the below video, Ian Peters - MD of Energy at British Gas, responds to your comments and outlines the help on offer to customers in light of our energy price announcement.
Taking the decision to increase prices was a tough one. However, we simply cannot ignore the rising costs, that are largely outside our control, but which make up most of the bill. North Sea gas supplies are running out; investment is needed to maintain and upgrade the national grid; the costs of the Government’s plans for a clean and energy efficient Britain. These factors are the reasons behind the increase in prices.
Help is available.
At British Gas our most vulnerable customers will receive a £130 discount on their bill this winter through the Warm Home Discount. Over the past three years we have spent over £500m supporting our customers most in need and we will continue to do so. Last year we helped over a million households with their bills by tailoring special payment plans, through offering the Warm Home Discount and by providing grants through the British Gas Energy Trust.
We are also giving away free insulation to all households to help cut bills. £1 in £4 spent on energy is wasted due to poor insulation of lofts and cavity walls so this is something that can have a big impact and save the average household £200. And if you’re over 70 or on eligible benefits don’t worry about clearing your loft because we can help with that too.
We’ve done all we can to cut our own costs, by doing business differently and more efficiently. We know people will wonder why British Gas can’t make less profit and absorb the rising costs.
Our profits in the second half of 2012 are expected to be around 15% lower than for the same period of 2011, and our margins after tax in 2012 will still only be 5p in the pound - the same as 2011, and less than 2010.
It’s important we maintain this margin. Not only are we investing in energy sources needed in the future, but we’re also investing in our customers’ homes to help reduce energy they use and keep their bills under control.
Because we’re helping our customers become more energy efficient, so even though prices are going up, bills don’t necessarily have to.
We have a wide range of help available if you are worried about paying your bill. If you, or someone you know, needs extra help then please call us on 0800 980 1917.