Posted by British Gas in News & Communications
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.
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