Centrica who are the company that owns British Gas have said that the amount it charges for gas and electricity could rise due to the company facing rising costs. The company’s warnings came on the very same day that Centrica approved multi-million pound wage deals for its bosses.
The rise in the bosses wages have gone ahead despite a shareholders revolt at the annual meeting with 16% of shareholders refused to back. Sam Laidlaw who is chief executive will get a wage of £4.1million, he even gets £684 discount on his yearly energy bills!
Centrica said yesterday that due to rising costs their duel fuel tariff could hit £1,400 per year which is a record high. The company could easily absorb the costs if it wanted too though, Centrica’s profit for 2011 was just under £2.5billion. Analysts have predicted that their profit will climb 20% this year to £2.9billion. British Gas’s profits are also expected rise to over £590million from the £522million profit it made in 2011.
British Gas customers could face a 19% increase in costs altogether, which would equate to around £130 per year extra. British citizens are finding it more and more difficult to swallow the rising cost of living while large companies are putting up prices, pleading poverty and then announcing record profits.
Consumer groups are questioning whether the price hikes are fair. Audrey Gallacher from Consumer Focus said: ‘Consumers will need clear evidence that price rises are warranted if they are to stomach further increases to their bills. ‘The perception is that suppliers are quick to pass on high price rises and slow to pass on small price cuts.
‘Much greater transparency on costs, pricing and profits is needed for customers to know whether they’re getting a fair deal.
‘Wholesale prices go up and down but customers need to know this is accurately reflected in their bill.’
Caroline Flint, Labour energy spokeswoman said: ‘Hard-pressed families and pensioners struggling to make ends meet thanks to the recession made in Downing Street will be astonished that Centrica, who made billions in profits and paid out millions in bonuses last year, are now threatening another round of price hikes.’