Energy bills will stay high for the next two years, Centrica boss predicts

Chris O’Shea proposed three measures that the government could further explore to take the pressure of rising bills off customers

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The boss of Centrica has today painted a stark picture of what the customers could see on their energy bills in the coming months.

In an interview on BBC, Chris O’Shea said he expected that the soaring energy prices that put pressure on suppliers and customers alike could last up to two years.

The Chief Executive of British Gas owner Centrica said he could find “no reason” to expect that gas prices would come down anytime soon.

He said: “When I talk to customers and I hear how stressed and the electricity prices that are coming, then I think it’s inconceivable that we do something to help these people.

“But that has to be targeted to these people. It cannot be targetted to energy companies, it has to be for the customers who can least afford the increases that are coming.”

Mr O’Shea also suggested three options that the government could explore to help households cope with the rises that are coming:

  • defer the cost of the supplier fee, incurred by surviving suppliers from taking on customers of companies that have gone bust, rather than it be added to upcoming bills
  • take the 5% VAT off energy bills temporarily or permanently
  • move green levies from bills to general taxation

He said these three measures could be implemented fast and can take half of the price rise. The rest could come from relief packages targetted to most vulnerable customers.

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