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Citizens Advice responds to British Gas annual results

23 February 2017

Profits for British Gas’ owner Centrica have risen by 4% to £1.515bn over 12 months, whilst profits from British Gas’ residential energy supply business fell 11% last year to £553m.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy, said:

“British Gas continues to make big profits while its loyal customers’ bills remain high.

“Many people who have been with their energy company for years are paying much more than other customers because they’re on a standard variable tariff. And while offering a loyalty reward scheme is something, bringing down bills would do more to help struggling households.

“The government has said it will step in when markets let consumers down. One way to reduce costs for some of the poorest families and pensioners would be to extend the prepayment meter cap to those eligible for the Warm Home Discount.

Citizens Advice also thinks there could be more clarity around energy companies’ profits. Gillian Guy added:

“There should be greater transparency about how energy firms make profits. The regulator Ofgem could make this clearer by expanding its Supplier Cost Index to include suppliers’ business costs, such as for staff.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.