British Gas owner Centrica profits increase five-fold to £1.34 billion as millions face fuel poverty

"We need action now.”

A photo of coins on top of an article explaining that Energy companies are raising prices

British Gas owner Centrica’s profits have increased five-fold to £1.34 billion, as energy bills soar and millions of families live in fuel poverty across the country.

Centrica’s record profits for the first six months of 2022 are five times the amount from the same period last year of £262m.

Oil company Shell also reported record profits of $11.5bn, doubling its earnings in a single year amid surging energy prices.

The record profits come amid a cost of living crisis driven by soaring energy bills, with more than 8 million households, one in three in the UK – expected to be in fuel poverty following October’s price cap increase, according to National Energy Action (NEA) – the national fuel poverty charity.

Meanwhile British households face annual energy bills of £3,850, three times what they were paying at the start of 2022.

News of the record profits while millions struggle was met with much backlash.

Reacting to the news, LFF columnist Prem Sikka tweeted: “British Gas owner Centrica profits increase five-fold to £1.34bn

“Household bills rocket.

“Cost of producing energy hasn’t changed substantially, selling price has.

“Must end corporate profiteering.

“Nationalize energy, limit price rise to inflation.”

Labour MP Kate Osborne tweeted: “British Gas owner Centrica has seen a 5 x increase of profits to £1.34 billion.

“Yet we are paying 3x more than they were this time last year (annual bills of £3,850!)

“We need action now.”

The Trades Union Congress tweeted: “British Gas owner Centrica has just posted £1.34 billion profit in the first six months of this year.

“This is a FIVE times increase on last year.

“Time to take energy companies into public ownership.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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