British Gas defends large profit margins

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Amid comments from the Energy Secretary Ed Davey, the energy giant owned by Centrica has hit back, claiming it “does more than any other organisation to secure gas and power for British consumers”.

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British Gas says it has invested £13.7bn in the last six years in UK gas supply.

The company was responding to a letter written by Mr Davey to regulators yesterday, in which he suggested the possibility of British Gas being “broken up” due to the size and power of their gas supply business.

In it he notes that for the 85% of households connected to the gas grid, it is gas that makes up the bulk of their energy spend, not electricity.

British Gas have had in place large profit margins on their sizeable chunk of the gas market, driving their profits as high as 11.2 per cent.

Managing director of British Gas, Chris Weston, hit back: “In the last six years we have invested £13.7bn , which is equivalent to £1.85 for every £1 earned.”

“We also support jobs and growth in Britain, directly employing more than 30,000 people.”

He also stated that British Gas is “one of Britain’s biggest corporate tax-payers” with an annual tax bill of around £1 billion.

A spokesman for British Gas said: “There is an ongoing independent market assessment being conducted by the OFT, Ofgem and the Competition & Markets Authority.”

“We welcome this and have complied with all the requests for data which we have received.”

“Further discussions have been arranged over the coming weeks in which we will fully participate.”

Sources: Energy firms’ profit margins under scrutiny by minister – Telegraph | British Gas hits back – Telegraph | Davey queries British Gas profits, mulls break up – EnergyLiveNews