The residential arm of British Gas has reported a dip in profits, as customers switch utility providers following its winter price hike. The warmer weather and volatile wholesale energy costs also impacted on the firm’s full year profits for 2013.
Adjusted operating profits for 2013 for residential energy supply were £571m, down from the £606m registered in 2012 and a 6% drop over the year. Profits also fell in business energy supply and services, decreasing by 19%.
The company said, “The results reflect some of the pressures that British Gas and the wider industry were under last year, with the competing demands of securing supply, reducing carbon emissions and keeping energy affordable.”
In October last year, British Gas announced a bill increase, with customers facing an average 9.2% hike. Other large energy companies also increased their prices, which sparked a debate about affordability and competition in the energy industry.
In response, the government cut back on green levies in a bid to reduce household energy bills despite consumer, industry and green organisations calling for a focus on energy efficiency.
The rising cost of energy led to consumers switching providers, with figures for November 20103 showing the number of people switching energy supplier hitting a three-year high. This is reflected in the British Gas figures, which show a 2% drop in the number of residential customers.
Chris Weston, managing director of British Gas, said, “Customers are our number one priority. As well as industry-leading service, we are committed to keeping prices and bills as low as possible through managing our costs and promoting energy efficiency in the home.
“I am confident that we now have the platform to take the business forward and return to customer growth.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Thursday morning, Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, which owns British Gas, argued that the UK has some of the lowest energy prices in Europe and that investing in new sources of gas and power is necessary and can lead to price increases.
He said, “We’re very conscious of pressures on energy bills and we will do whatever we can to keep bills as low as possible.”
Last week, energy secretary Ed Davey called on the regulator to consider breaking up the six main energy suppliers if they overcharge consumers.
In response, Laidlaw said, “There is a huge problem at the moment that uncertainty is the enemy of investment, this country needs £100 billion of investment for new power generation.
“Then we also have to recognise that companies such as British Gas actually do fulfil an essential role in bringing gas to Britain. The £14 billion of new contracts that we have entered into, we’ve now got £60 billion of commitment, of we were broken up into smaller companies we simply wouldn’t be able to enter into the sort of activity.”
Which? reveals more than 5.5m energy customer complaints for 2013
Government poll: 77% of Britons support renewable energy
Energy bills are going up – and it is mostly out lack of responsibility to blame
7 in 10 UK households left the heating off because of winter bill worries
Like our Facebook Page
The Pros and Cons of Fixed Prices for Sustainable Energy
How to Plan an Unforgettable Eco-Friendly Trip to Europe
Is Decarbonizing The Shipping Industry an Achievable Goal?
Designing Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits: Strategies for Reducing Environmental Impact
Green Living, Education and Awareness Are Keys to Preventing Mesothelioma
Canada Can Take New Steps to Make Healthcare Greener
Roy Bartholomew Shares Basics of Ecosystem Engineering
Understanding the Evolving Science of Environmental Health
Is Eco-Friendly Composite Decking Really Good for the Planet?
Eco-Friendly Composting Tips that All Gardeneners Should Follow
6 Home Improvements You Can Make to Help the Environment
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Eco-Friendly Party Favors Made for the Garden
Humane Pigeons Pest Control Tips Environmentalists Can Follow
Environmental Impact of Artificial Grass for Your Lawn
Choosing The Best Eco-Friendly Furniture Set for your Living Room
Planning an Eco-Friendly Bus Trip to Singapore with Friends
How to Travel More Sustainably While Saving Money
The Truth About The Environmental Impact of Dogs
6 Major Luxury Residential Projects Responding to Climate Change
Essential Findings to Include in Your Research Paper on Air Pollution
- Energy11 months ago
How To Choose the Right Solar Inverter for Your Home?
- Energy11 months ago
How to Choose the Best Solar Panel for Your Home
- Environment11 months ago
Reduce Industry Footprints with Sustainable Material Swaps
- Environment10 months ago
Is Smart Building Technology the Future of Sustainability?