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Gas price hikes enrage residents
THE owner of British Gas sparked fury as it revealed a £606million in profits months after hiking customer tariffs.
Centrica said an 11 per cent rise in profits at British Gas residential came after last year's colder-than-normal weather saw gas use leap 12% and in spite of a 1% fall in customer accounts to 15.7 million in 2012.
The results have raised over the fairness of energy bill increases after British Gas raised tariffs by 6 per cent for around 8.4 million households at the end of last year.
South Essex residents have been left angered by the announcement as they battle to live on tight budgets.
Janice Banks, 65, from Canewdon,said she was sick of the price rises and questioned whether they would ever stop.
She said: “These companies know people have to sign up to them so they seem to think it is ok to keep taking from them. People do struggle and I find it difficult to keep up with the price hikes.
“Why would it change? All the while people are cold and need power they can do what they want. They need to think more about the elderly people who find it hard as it is without thinking about all these extra worries.”
Alf Papworth, 79, from Ashdown Crescent, Hadleigh, added: “Our gas prices went up nine per cent this year and we are just expected to accept it and pay without fuss. I questioned the rise but while the gas prices are going up for companies paying customers will feel the sting as well. All the while benefits are being cut as well – no consideration.”
Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said it was time for a "complete overhaul of our energy market".
"People will not understand why, just a few months ago, British Gas claimed they had no option but to put up their prices when now it looks like they're making huge profits on the back of spiralling bills for hard-pressed consumers," she added.