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Energy Suppliers Profits - Should they be curbed

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OneFootInTheGrave

OneFootInTheGrave Report 28 Feb 2013 08:38

British Gas profits boosted by colder weather, Ian Peters from British Gas told the BBC the profit and price rises were "not connected"

British Gas has reported a rise in profits for 2012 after colder weather led to people using more gas. Profits from its residential energy supply arm rose 11% from a year earlier to £606m

So what happened to the Prime Minister's promise to deal with the Energy Suppliers, or was this just more Hot Air.

Hold on, I can see what his plan is, he wants us to heat our homes with the Hot Air spouted in Parliament, after all there is plenty of it about ;-)

Maybe there should be a windfall tax on the Energy Companies :-)

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2013 09:28

In an interview yesterday, BG boss said that profits represented £50 per household.

Quite a lot, but not all going to shareholders and not a lot in the context of the billions they have to spend over next decade on investment - particularly in these new technologies.

The problem for energy suppliers will now be one of supply and demand over next few years. It is now my biggest bill and 13% of income (hence I am in fuel poverty - and almost quarter of a million people in my area (edited) will also be in fuel poverty). I have things I can still cut back on, but an awful lot haven't any more.

And if next winter is not as mild as this one :-( :-( :-(

eRRolSheep

eRRolSheep Report 28 Feb 2013 10:34

That is absolutely shocking.
John that means something like 75 per cent of the population (three quarters) are in fuel poverty in your county.

I don't see how profits and price rises cannot be connected.

I don't have a problem with companies making profits but I do have a problem if those profits continue to rise disproportionately.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2013 10:42

Errol. Think companies are saying (and not very loudly) that prices are rocketing and due to increase again by a phenomenal amount next winter.

And they claim it is not greedy profiteering (shock, horror). They claim it is having to invest in all these Government green initiatives. And the Government's social benefits to keep the vulnerable warm.

Many round here have had £130 credit banged into their pre-payment meters this winter. Companies (and me and you indirectly) have to fund that. And these wind farms (don't get me going when there are billions of tons of coal under my feet - best Rhondda steam coal, best in world). :-(

eRRolSheep

eRRolSheep Report 28 Feb 2013 10:53

The Rhondda?
That means EVERYONE in your county is in fuel poverty.

The problem with coal power is that it is the primary cause of global warming.
I don't know what the answer is but there is certainly an element of profiteering.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2013 11:17

Not everyone, Errol. But a lot of people in the Valleys have about £200 a week to live on and, if energy bills are more than £20 per week, that would be classified as fuel poverty. If you own your own house, it is possible to live quite well on that sort of income down here. But you do rely on bills increasing by no more than your wages/pension increases.

There are wealthier streets and expensive houses in most villages, we do have a few millionaires and parts that are quite affluent. It is the county of Rhondda Cynon Taf I was alluding to, not just the two small Rhondda valleys.

eRRolSheep

eRRolSheep Report 28 Feb 2013 12:00

I think that could be said for most areas of the UK.

Incidentally, the entire estimated population of RCT is estimated at less then 235,000. Your claim that almost quarter of a million in the county are in fuel poverty still sounds a little high (hence me saying it must be "everyone"). I would be interested in your source plus accurate figures relating to other areas of the United Kingdom if possible. Thank you.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2013 12:11

Sorry, Errol. You are right. Picked quarter of a million out of air. Probably about 75% of the 235,000. That is my feeling, and I think it would not be far out for the county. So about 170,000 people in a small area.

Even if slightly less or more, it is a serious problem, you will agree. And, as you probably rightly say, many counties throughout UK (particularly those that depended on heavy industry a few years ago) will be experiencing very high levels of fuel poverty

eRRolSheep

eRRolSheep Report 28 Feb 2013 12:29

I think the figures are a little meaningless if you have made them up.
However, yes it is a major problem across the British Isles.

OneFootInTheGrave

OneFootInTheGrave Report 28 Feb 2013 12:49

I do not dispute that some of the profits will be re-invested, but I do object to large bonuses being taken by those that run the energy companies, the link below gives you some idea of the amounts they creamed off after their 2011 results, noses in the trough comes to mind.

How can they justify these amounts when some people in this country have to decide whether to buy food or freeze, I dread to think what their bonuses will be from the profits for 2012 :-(

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/06/bonuses-executive-pay-energy-firms

Call me old fashioned, tell me I am being unrealistic, I don't really care, as I have had enough of successive governments flogging of this countries assets to overseas interests to the detriment of the hard working people of this country :-|

Renationalisation of what are essential services may not be a viable option so we need to live with them being in private hands, that being the case they all need to be properly regulated and any regulator must have teeth to ensure that the people of this country do not get ripped off year after year after year.

What is it David Cameron, George Osborne, and Nick Clegg keep telling us, oh yes it was "We Are All In This Together" - and my answer to that is "And Pigs Might Fly"

eRRolSheep

eRRolSheep Report 28 Feb 2013 13:05

I agree that renationalisation is not really an option and that regulation is key.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2013 21:28

OFG. It is big salaries that upsets me too. Not only the £2m a year they get for running the company but the fully expenesed and chauffeured limo, the second luxury car for the spouse, the shares, the .........

And they have to have a team of 6 or 8 executives supporting them - all earning over £1m otherwise CEO looks too well paid. One of the £1m pa execs will be PR and another will be what we used to call welfare when I started. And a third will be marketing - which we used to call pushing leaflets through doors. :-)

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 28 Feb 2013 21:35

Through the door this week, BG leaflet, Free loft insulation, free cavity wall insulation...worth looking into if you have rising bills, not just for BG customers:

call 0800 980 7926

eRRolSheep

eRRolSheep Report 28 Feb 2013 21:58

I hope you are now actually basing your comments on fact John rather than purely making them up. lol

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2013 22:31

Errol
http://www.centrica.com/files/reports/2011ar/index.asp?pageid=57