Sunday, 25 January 2009

Big gas rip off continues.

The other day British Gas announced a reduction of 10% in its general tariff. On the face of it this sounds like good news. But let’s just have a look at what happened last year. They increased their charges by 35% using the excuse that wholesale gas prices were the major problem and because energy prices were linked the price of oil, the increase was absolutely necessary. Oil at that time was $140 a barrel, today oil is trading around $40 and the wholesale price as fallen well below the 10%. So, to me the energy company is ripping me off. What I ask is the regulator doing and indeed the minister. I get quite bored when they use the same old rhetoric about free market forces and how they are trying to help the most vulnerable. We are in a severe recession and the energy companies can play a leading role in helping families and industries affected by this but they will not do it by this kind of hand rubbing with glee “we’re gona make a bundle” philosophy they are currently adopting. They know of course that whatever obscene profit they report the government will never consider a windfall tax on it. Time for a change I think on energy regulation.

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