British Gas: Fair Profit Or Exploitation?

Since the peak gas price in 2008 British gas has reduced its prices by 17%. But Since the peak gas price the wholesale price of gas has fallen 40%. See Here

British Gas' profit this year has soared by 98%. In the first half (i.e. 6 months) of 2010 British Gas' profit was £585 million. So it would suggest that their profit this year is going to be in excess of £1 Billion.

All utility companies are in a steady business (and trusted position) of providing our industry and people with a regular vital resource.

So how the hell can one of them suddenly double its profits?

I don't expect any of the other utility companies will go bust any time soon. So there is only source for that huge profit. That source is you, my grubby derided little English consumer.

The whole basis of the privatisation of the utilities was to get rid of a self serving "jobs-worth" monopolistic culture and replace it with a set of responsible and efficient companies.
Their rivalry would guarantee that costs to the consumer were kept down. These new private companies were trusted with providing a strategic national resource. In exchange they were virtually guaranteed a profit.

But today these companies now act as if they are just a multiple set of heads on a monstrous Hydra monopoly. Essentially the Gas and Electric utility industry has all the hallmarks of being an ugly and viciously exploitative hidden cartel.

British Gas and its buddies faff around, pretending there is competition between them. They swap a few hundred thousand consumers to make it look good but they all indulge in conning the public with discounts as summer approaches. Then they hit them with massive rises as winter (and the need for gas) rises. Now Britsh Gas is leading the pack with a shameful 7% rise. The others will follow soon no doubt.

They may be an improvement on the old nationalised cash haemorrhaging relic they replaced. But they are still very far from offering the public a real competitive choice.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with making a profit, even a healthy profit. Especially if you company provides what the customer wants.

But British Gas like the other utility companies do not provide what the customer wants. It provides what the customer needs. They have been given this business on a plate in exchange for acting responsibly.

Double profits in a dynamic cutting edge producer of goods that people queue up to buy is really good.

Double profits in a utility company is a disgusting exploitation of a trusted position.

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