- British Gas reported profits of £969 million for the first six months of 2023
Millions face the highest energy bills on record this winter, triggering warnings that it will ‘cost lives’.
Industry watchdog Ofgem announced a 5 per cent rise in the energy price cap from January 1, increasing the average annual bill by £94 to £1,928.
Experts say millions will effectively be paying £46 more for the January-March period than last year after the Government withdrew measures to help households with bills.
Richard Neudegg, of price comparison website Uswitch.com, said: ‘This rate increase will bite during the coldest period of the year when households need to use the most energy. Energy bills are likely to be the highest they’ve ever been for most homes this winter.’
He pointed out that, unlike last winter, high tariffs are not being offset by the Energy Bill Support Scheme, which gave households a £67 monthly discount on their bills.
Industry watchdog Ofgem yesterday announced a 5 per cent rise in the energy price cap from January 1, increasing the average annual bill by £94 to £1,928 (Stock Image)
But energy giants are continuing to post huge profits as consumers struggle with costs. British Gas reported profits of £969 million for the first six months of 2023, up almost 900 per cent from £98 million in the same period last year.
Fi Waters, of the Warm This Winter campaign, said: ‘The price cap rising again in January is yet another kick in the teeth to ordinary people, particularly as in the last few weeks we’ve seen energy companies lining up to announce hundreds of millions of pounds worth of profits.’
She added: ‘It’s clear our energy system is broken. The relentless roll call of obscene profits, and now a hike in energy bills in the new year, is not only hugely unfair, it’s costing lives, damaging health and wasting money as our reliance on fossil fuels is keeping bills sky high.’
Emily Seymour, the energy editor of Which?, said it was ‘disappointing’ that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt did not announce any new energy bill support in the Autumn Statement.
The consumer group, charities and industry leaders have been lobbying ministers for the introduction of a cheaper social tariff on energy bills to help the poorest and most vulnerable.
Ms Seymour said: ‘A properly targeted social tariff is desperately needed to ensure the most financially vulnerable are able to heat their homes.’