The managing director of British Gas, Phil Bentley, has defended the company’s average 7% price hike on dual accounts.
Mr Bentley told Radio Five Live: “This is the first price rise we’ve had in two and a half years. Even after the price rise it’ll still be less than it was two years ago. It has gone up because of international price rises, we’ve been selling at a loss.”
He added: “Our profits are fair – we only make £4 per customer per month.”
The response from the watchdog Consumer Focus was to shop around for a fair deal as annual tariffs can vary up to as much as £200 a year.
Adam Scorer, director of external affairs at Consumer Focus said: “Wholesale prices are around half of their peak in 2008 and yet in the same period customers prices were cut by less than 10%. Consumers will feel that suppliers didn’t make cuts when conditions allowed it, but are covering their profit margins as wholesale prices nudge up. At a time when there are reports of a gas glut it seems that consumers take on all the risk in this market.“
British Gas has over 9 million gas accounts and 6.5 million electricity accounts.