British Gas Response to Ofgem's Review of the energy market
We welcome this latest review by Ofgem calling for greater transparency in the energy sector and believe that being clear about pricing with customers will help build their trust. We pride ourselves on being the most transparent of the suppliers and British Gas and its parent Centrica, have provided full disclosure of profits and costs in its audited accounts since privatisation.
Analysts are forecasting that British Gas margins in the second half of 2010 will be around 3-4 per cent on residential energy sales, substantially less than the margin predicted by Ofgem for 2011.
Ofgem's figures, published today, do not take account of the continued and growing impact of energy efficiency on customers' bills. British Gas customers, following our advice on energy efficiency are, on average, using one fifth less gas now than they were in 2006, a trend that we expect to continue.
The UK has one of the most competitive energy markets in Europe which has brought significant benefits to customers in terms of prices and innovation. In October 2008, Ofgem itself found that the British retail energy market was amongst the most competitive in the world. In the six months to June 2010, UK households enjoyed the 4th lowest electricity prices of the EU15. Domestic gas prices in the UK have been the lowest in the EU for ten years.
The British Gas price rise next month will be the first in over two years, during which time prices have fallen by an average of £188 per annum. Even after this price change, average annual dual fuel bills for British Gas customers will be £108 lower than in January 2009, with energy efficiency measures bringing many customers more savings on their bill on top of this.