Citizens Advice calls for extension to energy Prepayment cap

24th 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. Iain Conn, Chief Executive of Centrica “The big message is that it’s very competitive out there actually, We have seen increased metering and other costs coming through. We lost customers in the first half of last year. We are seeing pressure on our margins because there are 50 suppliers out there.”

Responding to British Gas and parent company Centrica’s results 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.”