When Low Risk Means Very High Returns

The Energy Minister of the United Kingdom has complained about the excessive profits that two of the United Kingdom’s energy companies are making. Mr Edward Davey has focused his complaints (which he has made to the energy regulator) upon higher than expected profit margins that British Gas and SSE are making. These margins are in excess of 11% for the year 2012. He is right to complain. In theory utility companies should operate at very low Continue reading

Keeping the Gas On

As I write these words, on the second day of Spring after a long hard cold and wet winter in London, it is now snowing and the snow is settling on the roof tops and on the cars. Spring snow is rare, not quite as scarce as hen’s teeth, but an event to be noted. Continue reading

British Gas Profits – Old Habits Die Hard

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. Continue reading

Natural Gas Prices – stick or twist?

I buy my natural gas from British Gas and wherever possible I try to fix the price for as long as possible. I do this because I believe that energy prices will rise inexorably for the foreseeable future and so far my belief has had substance. Continue reading

Record Profits for British Gas in 2009

British Gas, (a part of Centrica) made record profits in 2009 of nearly £600 million. British Gas has more than half the United Kingdom residential natural gas market with 15 million customers. Executives and spin merchants at British Gas have been looking for ways to justify this level of profits over a year when the whole cost to British Gas of what they resell fell by significantly greater amounts than the price that the customer’s have to pay. Continue reading

British Gas wants to charge more for using less gas!

I have lots of people who visit my blog every day. I work on the assumption that readers are interested in ideas for the environment and the other matters about which I write my essays. I try not to descend into personal matters but from time to time a personal experience can provide some insight into something very important to millions of people. Today I shall write about an experience with British Gas that sent some alarm bells ringing not just for me but perhaps also for millions of their customers. Continue reading

Lord Truscott and the scandal of Phase 2 Low Carbon Building programme

Lord Truscott has been in the news recently. He is not terribly well known and I had not heard of him when I made a complaint to Alistair Darling about Phase 2 of the Low Carbon Building programme two years ago. Mr “framework” concept of approved suppliers but did not bother to notify the solar thermal industry’s trade association, the Solar Trade Association that a framework was being initiated and companies could submit a tender. That Darling was then Secretary of State at the Department of Trade & Industry and the Department had devised a scheme to provide 30% subsidies for renewable energy for not for profit organisations. They had decided on a meant that most of the solar thermal industry was unaware of the framework until it was too late. Genersys found out after the framework had been decided and I wrote to Mr Darling complaining and Mr Darling referred my letter to his then almost anonymous Energy Secretary, Lord Truscott. Continue reading

British Gas reduce their prices by 10% for gas but for the poor it will make no difference

Gas prices have risen and risen and risen again, and in the past few months the natural gas whole price has fallen and the United Kingdom’s six energy suppliers (I know there are a few more than six but six have 98% of the market) have come under pressure to reduce consumer gas prices. British Gas, one of the big six, has announced that it will cut its standard tariff gas prices by 10%, which is much less than the increases in 2008. British Gas put their standard prices up by 35% in 2008. Being aware of the commercial position, British Gas will introduce the price cut from 19th February.

For those of you on quarterly billing you may want to check your meter at this date and provide the gas company with a reading, otherwise you might lose out when they apportion the price decrease over a single billing period. Continue reading