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Ian Peters discusses today's price announcement

Posted by British Gas in News & Communications

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I know people are struggling right now. Living costs are rising, and incomes aren’t keeping up.  A rise in energy prices is the last thing that customers want. 

We didn’t take the decision to raise prices lightly.  I understand people are frustrated that the price of energy keeps going up – and I’d like to explain why.

North Sea gas is running out.  We have to buy energy on the global market for our customers, and global prices are rising.

People often comment on the fact that energy prices always seem to go up, and never go down.  I want to assure you that this is not the case.  The charts below show how the changes in energy prices, and the other costs we have to pay have been reflected in the prices you pay.

Price Rise InfographicPrice Rise Pie Chart

The cost of delivering gas and electricity through the pipes and wires to people's homes is also rising to fund the upgrade of our national grid so it's fit for the future. 

The cost of the Government’s social and environmental schemes is going up too.  We support these programmes, which will make our homes more energy efficient, encourage renewable energy, lower carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty – helping those who are most in need.

We don’t directly control these costs.  The costs we do control – our own operating costs and profit margin – are staying the same or going down.  After the price rise, we’ll still be making the same level of profit we’ve made for several years – not more – and this is just 5p in the pound, around £4 per household per month.

I know many people wonder why we need to make a profit at all.  The truth is we need to be profitable to make investments in sources of energy that will keep homes warm and the lights on in Britain in the years to come.  

We also employ more than 30,000 people here in Britain, and we’re delivering nationwide schemes that will help people stay warm using less energy and keep bills under control.

We can only do all this because we’re a profitable company.

British Gas expects to spend £400 million on the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme this year alone.

This is an important scheme that’s improving homes all over Britain.  This scheme, which includes insulation, new windows and doors and better boilers is improving the look of people’s homes too – and creating much-needed jobs.  But it comes at a cost. 

We’d like to see changes to this scheme to make it cheaper to deliver – a reduction in costs that could mean lower bills for customers.  We’ll be working with Government to try to make this happen.

If you’ve benefited from this scheme, you’ll understand the difference it’s making. 

Our customers who are elderly and most in need will have the help of the Warm Home Discount this winter.  It’s worth £135.  British Gas has set the widest criteria for this scheme – wider than any other major energy supplier – so we can help as many people as possible with this credit on their electricity bill.  We will be helping 500,000 people with the Warm Home Discount this winter.

And, we will also be offering all our dual fuel customers who qualify for the Warm Home Discount a top-up of £60, which will protect them from the effect of the price rise we announced this week.

But there is help available for all to keep control of energy costs.

I would urge anyone who’s worried about their energy bill this winter to get in touch with us by going online at www.britishgas.co.uk/myenergy or calling 0800 980 1917.

To read the press release please click here

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10 Comments

Ms A J Airey

I am on Brit Gas help plan as Disabled OAP, despite this they conned me! In October they refused my usual payment plan payment, saying I was in Credit on both Gas & Elec. Without a word to me this seemingly cancelled my payment plan of £130 pm that has always averaged out over the years and given me a Cr balance by Oct/Nov. Today they say my plan was cancelled -this is first I heard of it and I paid it in Nov/Dec/Jan as normal without a word from them. Then I got a bill fro £297.58 and took £60 off it from Elecric Cr. They say my plan was cancelled and I HAVE TO pay £237.58 now before they will reinstate a payment plan at £40 pm more ! I feel conned, let down and as OAP I cannot pay it. Obviously I was in Credit in October so why can they not reinstate my so called existing plan - which I can manage very well. Because of the 'missed payment' the one they refused to let me pay, my account flagged up at their call centres and I have been harassed nearly to death by call centres from Uk to India this week they phoned am/pm/ night 9 times this week - no wonder no one trusts them. It was underhand to cancel a plan that leaves me in CR every year. It feels like they will not listen to reason but it is they who cancelled my plan with no reason, and are now making me pay for that 'mistake' they made in October!!!!

MP

I have been offered the new "Fix and Fall" tariff. In principle it sounds good, however, all it really does is give a guarantee that the reccent price rise of 10.8% will not be increased further in the next year. Given the political climate and reaction to the 10.8% rise, I think the tariff and "guarantee" are nothing more than a very poor marketing ploy, unless of course British Gas are still contemplating further rises in the next 12 months???

Abbott

The fact remains, and it is one you seem to be immune to, I, and I suspect by now, many others of your customers, just do not trust you: period

CD

I signed up to a Fixed Price October 2014 agreement on 8th October at a standing charge of 24.762 per day and a Unit Rate of 4.011. I received a letter from Stuart Hough to confirm this, everything all in writing. That was fine until on 17th October I receive a letter from Ian Peters telling me that Fixed Price October 2014 now has a Standing charge of £26.00 per day and a Unit rate of 4.526 No other explanation given!? This is a breach of contract. Spent 51 mins onthe 'phone only to get through and be told only Premier Energy Division can help and that their systems are down. This is a #Bristish Gas disgrace

Len Dicks

FOR ATTENTION OF IAN PETERS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BRITISH GAS RESIDENTIAL ENERGY Gas Ref: 850005603896 Following your communication dated 17th October 2013 addressed to 2 Lisa Close Billericay I sought clarification of the revised tariffs on Tel No 0800 316 5664 Following numerous attempts on Saturday when the waiting tom on call response was over 30 minutes I rang again today - 28th October 2013. I rang at 1018hrs and was informed that the waiting time was 20 minutes. I persisted in waiting and eventually got a response at 1044hrs when I spoke to Dale Mason. Dale had difficulty in recognising my address details having to intermittently refer to other colleagues. Having accessed some of my detail, on asking detail him to explain the projected bill calculation quoted in my last bill, Dale said he was unable to access my account which he said was a "See Ball" (phonetic pronunciation)Account and he would have to refer me to another operative. This was at 1052hrs. I was then put on hold until 1121hrs when my call was taken up by Emma Cooper. Emma just said that they were unable to access my account, without any satisfactory explanation, and that I should ring back in 24 hours. This is very shoddy and unsatisfactory treatment. I would appreciate an e-mail response detailing a DIRECT telephone number for me to contact somebody immediately and discuss my queries regarding the new tariffs without having to go though the same ordeal as experienced today. Thank you for your help.

Rob Holder

Its interesting that British Gas maintain and often increase their profits each year so share holders never bare any of the burden of these costs. In my business when we invest in new infrastructure we take the hit as part of doing business, it would be correct for British Gas to do the same. We don't pass on those costs directly to our customer as this would be wrong and lets face it in a real market it would b suicide, 10% increases only work in Monopolies. British Gas also continue to pay their staff ridiculous salaries so in no way are they sensitive to the real world costs. I could rant for a long time on this but I know its falling on death ears.

ian powles

i have been a British gas customer for 40 years, last year it was that cold i had ice on the inside of my windows, with the price rises this year its going to be worse, i bet the fat cats of British gas will not be cold this year as if they care what is this country coming to the richer get richer and the poor get poorer, they have taken the grate out this country suck t it dry.

stephen mcginley

thats it,i have had it with you lot,after you have taken my direct debit before it was due and left me with no shoping money then have the cheek to send me an email to say you are putting up your charges,i will be seeking another supplier.

j.b.dalton

you profess to be open 8am to 8pm daily. I have tried today to contact. At 8.am i was automatically told there would be "waiting time " of 10 mins.and should try later. At 14.20 "waiting time" was automatically advised as 35 mins !!! you need to increase staffing to avoid the non-contactability for your customers

charles connor

I feel like im being shafted twice by your letter I take it everyone has to pay the increase for gas/elec. but to tghen find out hidden away you are now imposing a standing charge on each meter will this be the same for people not on prepay meters or are you just hitting the people who are already struggling ie.prepay. I would like you to answer this because I am thinking of switching to another supplier or have you colluded so everyone charges standing charge.on this I will be paying 189.80 per annum.before we use any gas/elec. I dare say the shareholders of british gas are rubbing their hands.i look forward to your reply.