The latest announcement of profits, up by 23%, of British Gas will come as cold comfort to those that do not hold shares in Centrica, who owns British Gas. The days of Sid and ordinary folk owning their own utilities have gone, and the profits which will pay increased dividends will vanish into the wallets of those completely disconnected from those who generate those profits, the long suffering customer.
We are told that the size of the profits from reselling gas and electricity to the British household, will mean that it will be unlikely that there will be any further increase in gas prices before the end of the year, but you cannot count on this because with British Gas old habits die hard.
Although wholesale gas prices have fallen by 13% these falls cannot be reflected in the consumer price, because despite all the regulators efforts and politicians’ complaints companies like British Gas will inevitably charge what the market will bear, as will every business that operates a monopoly. When you park your car on a roadside parking space you will pay what your local authority thinks you will bear. When you turn on your central heating your energy company will charge you what it can. In either case you have little in the way of choice and the old habits of taking the car or turning on the heating die hard.
There are alternatives that some but not all can exercise. You can use a bike and not a car for some journeys. You can use renewable energy such as solar water heating, for some of your energy needs, rather than turning on the gas, but these have their complications and you are already used to the complications of running a heating system and running a car and old habits die hard.