British Gas have today announced that they have increased the levels of profits year on year by a staggering 11%.
The reason for this massive level of profit has been explained as being driven by an extremely cold British winter. This in turn led to many households using more gas than they have needed to previously in an attempt to keep their homes warm, with around 12% more gas being used than the previous year.
Although this sounds like a rare success story for British business in a time when lots of companies are struggling to make ends meet let alone make hefty profits, British Gas have come under criticism.
Those critical are dismissive of British Gas’ tactics of raising the cost of its fuel in November 2012 at a time when people it most, claiming that this is was unfair and taking advantage of those that had little choice. The sad matter was that some people did have a choice, and that was to turn their heating off despite temperatures that reached as low as 7.3C in some parts of the UK.
In fairness British Gas weren’t the only energy supplier to increase the cost of gas in 2012, with the other 5 major energy suppliers following suit. British Gas’ Director of Consumer Policy defended the price rise by stating that they were still offering some of the lowest prices around.
However for the British consumer it doesn’t change the fact that once again they are battling against increased heating costs and bills, with little sign of this changing in the next few years.
Government schemes such as the Green Deal loan have attempted to offer some respite, although this too has been criticised as it still requires house owners to pay out on improving the energy efficiency of their home at a time when most can’t afford expensive redevelopment.
The best advice is to use your heating wisely (only when you need it), check that you are on a the best possible tariff in your area for your circumstances and make the most of the heating you do have by keeping windows and doors shut. If you haven’t done so already it is definitely worth investing in one of the modern condensing combi boilers, as moving away from an old boiler design has been known to save £300 a year, something that would go some way to addressing that hefty gas bill!