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British Gas owner Centrica reports £1.3bn profit

Posted on the 28 July, 2011 at 3:24 pm Written by in Government

British Gas owner Centrica has reported operating profits of £1.3bn in the six months to 30 June

The results include a 54% fall in operating profits at its residential energy division, British Gas, to £270m. British Gas says higher wholesale gas prices are responsible for the fall in profits.

The news comes as the firm prepares to raise gas prices by 18% and electricity prices by 16% in August.

The increase will push up the average bill for around nine million customers by £190 a year.

The BBC Business Editor Robert Peston said…

“Pain for customers is a reward for shareholders. Now these are not two distinct groups: millions of people hold British Gas shares indirectly through their pension schemes. But, if asked, many of those saving for a pension would probably sacrifice the dividend for lower energy prices.”

Dave Houston, of nationwide solar panel installers PV FIT, said “this problem is not going to go away. As commercial entities energy suppliers must make profits, and unfortunately it is the wider public that have to pay for this. Fuel costs will continue rising over the next 10 years, as they have done for the past 10 years”.

Energy Efficiency

Consumers are likely to be stuck with fuel price hikes unless they take steps to mitigate the cost increases.

The primary steps should be energy efficiency, upgrading your property with measures such as low energy light bulbs, loft/cavity insulation and double glazing. These measures will help reduce the amount of fuel your property consumes but will not eradicate the need to buy in energy.

Following energy efficiency the next step could be to generate your own energy through use of renewable technologies, with very attractive incentives such as the Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme which pays an above market rate for the energy you produce on site from renewable energy sources.

Houston goes on to say, “Since introduction of the solar PV feed in tariffs the costs for solar energy have come down dramatically. Consumers were once put off by making a hefty investment in the region of £11,000-16,000 for a domestic scale solar energy system. However, you could now expect to pay £8,000-£13,000 for an equivalent sized photovoltaic system today”.

Bright future for solar power

The PV feed in tariff scheme offers an above market rate, to residential and commercial users, for all the renewable electricity generated on site, which is index linked (to Retail Price Index) and government guaranteed for 25 years.

FIT income is tax free for homeowners, plus you benefit form additional savings on electricity bills & get paid by your chosen energy supplier for any electricity which you do not consume.

With typical annul returns in excess of 12% pa solar panels offer a very strong case to combat the ever growing costs of energy.

To get a free no obligation quotation and see how much you could generate call PV FIT’s expert team on 0344 567 9032, or visit www.pvfit.co.uk

Read the full BBC article

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