Thursday, 18 November 2010

There is greed, and there is greed, and then there is Centrica!”


Centrica’ if you didn’t already know, own that very familiar or otherwise easily recognized giant utility which when one thinks gas you think British Gas, and of course once upon a time a publicly owned energy supplying utility.

Centrica plc is the large multinational utility company which is based in the United Kingdom but has interests in North America. Centrica is the largest supplier of gas to domestic customers in the UK, and one of the largest suppliers of electricity, operating under the trading names "Scottish Gas" in Scotland and "British Gas" in the rest of the UK.

As a customer of British Gas my post this morning is a grumble, to tell the truth it’s more than a grumble really. I am very annoyed to have read that Centrica yesterday teed up its investors with public-ally promising higher-than-expected profits to come, and just days after the firm announced price hikes for millions of British Gas customers. Publishing a trading update, the group predicted operating profits for 2010 will be slightly ahead of expectations of £2.2 billion.

When I look around the blogging fraternity, particularly on the left (for want of a better description), not many cover the rising cost of living that is being forced on ordinary people at a time which has and is becoming known for its (government) austerity. This blog tries it’s best to cover such mundane and everyday maters because it’s important to understand and appreciate just how much and such daylight robbery is impacting on those whom we believe to be a majority. In recent years much has been said and reported in general about fuel poverty; and we are told that households are considered by the Government (or at lest the last lot) to be in 'fuel poverty' if they would have to spend more than 10% of their household income on fuel to keep their home in a 'satisfactory' condition. 

Keeping warm, cooking a meal, even having hot running water is now quite quickly becoming for millions simply a luxury which they can no longer afford!”

2.8 million Households in England were classified as being in fuel poverty in 2007 (13% of all households), and there have been increases in each year since 2003.

The residential arm of British Gas recorded pre-tax profits of £585 million in the first half of 2010 - a 98 per cent increase year-on-year.

The UK's biggest energy supplier benefited from one of the coldest winters in 30 years, which caused shivering households to crank up the heating, helping sales of gas by volume to rise by 8 per cent in the period.

So an increase of 7 per cent as has been set by Centrica’ and will have unforeseen ramifications for us all. Not only will we see many more driven into experiencing the horror and for the first time, of that which is fuel poverty this winter; as this giant multinational has decided to put its price hike up from 10 December not only in time for Christmas and at the coldest darkest time of the year, but it will enervate and force up in general the cost of living and the prices that we pay for pre-cooked foods such as bread and many other items, it will help we are sure industry to generate all those new jobs that the government says private enterprise will create in its big plan for the big society: to get the unemployed, sorry workshy back to work. However, don’t expect this or any government to intervene, them day’s are long over and they never did any real good in the first place - an abscess surrounded by inflamed tissue needs to be cut-out and completely drained of the greed and the pus!”                 
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4 comments:

Chris H said...

A dichotomy! Shareholders or customers? Guess who comes first?

Anyway, forget that, have you heard there's a wedding on!!!!

Norbert said...

Ouch'don't just love a wedding in these hard times of austerity, something to take away the pain?"

Anonymous said...

Last year, Centrica bought Venture in a hostile takeover shortly after bagging a stake in British Energy. Apparently, the reason for the takeover was to allow Centrica to control volatile wholesale prices - basically to avoid the situation where increased prices have to be passed on to customers. See para 7 here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/aug/24/centrica-venture-takeover
I don't recall Centrica being challenged on this point since the rises have been announced. The combined purchases mean they now control 60% of supply - in essence, they already control the majority of their supply and should be able to control the cost to the consumer. Something smells... gassy.

Norbert said...

Thank you very much Anonymous,

For that useful information, indeed a very unpleasant smell or what?"

And thanks for the link, will be checking that out latter with a view to another post!"

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