British Gas to give 10% of profits to poorest customers after fury at bumper earnings

25 August 2022, 05:58 | Updated: 25 August 2022, 08:40

British Gas has announced it will give a slice of its profits to worst-off customers
British Gas has announced it will give a slice of its profits to worst-off customers. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Squeezed British Gas customers will be given a slice of the energy giant's profits under new plans to help with the cost of living crisis.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The boss of its parent company Centrica, Chris O'Shea, has announced that 10% of its energy profits will go to its poorest consumers.

An initial £12m of profits has been committed to the scheme this autumn and a further 10% will go towards it every six months for as long as the crisis lasts.

The firm drew anger weeks ago after it announced bumper profits at a time when Brits are struggling to meet ends meet, with energy bills soaring.

"We don't have a silver bullet and we know this fund can't reach everyone. But I believe it can help make a real difference for those who really need our support," Mr O'Shea told The Sun.

Payments between £250 and £750 will be sent to ten of thousands of British Gas customers that it believes will struggle.

Mr O'Shea has called for a £100bn bailout and said: "Under the current system our regulator Ofgem sets the price you pay for energy to make sure everyone pays a fair price that reflects the actual cost of energy.

British Gas owner Centrica announced huge profits
British Gas owner Centrica announced huge profits. Picture: Getty

"If an energy supplier decided to charge below that cap, they will lose money quickly and will go out of business.

"We've already seen that if you don't have robust and resilient energy companies then consumers pay the price – each and every household in the UK is forking out £100 more this year on energy bills to pay for the collapse of multiple energy companies last year and this can't be allowed to happen again."

Read more: Disabled people to get £150 cost of living payment from September amid 18% inflation warning

Centrica's profits increased five-fold to £1.3bn, it was announced last month.

It was one of several energy giants to announce massive profits, causing anger and calls for its earnings to be passed on to consumers voluntarily or though measures like windfall taxes.

Soaring energy prices have been driven by large demand as countries came out of Covid lockdowns and the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Bills have soared and energy firms made bumper profits
Bills have soared and energy firms made bumper profits. Picture: Getty

The Government has given a £400 non-repayable grant on energy bills, applied in six instalments between October and March.

Read more: Tory leadership contest is 'callous' and 'self-indulgent' amid cost of living crisis, says Utilita boss

Extra cost of living payments, disability support and pensioner grants are also available as part of a multi-billion pound package.

But there have been calls for more help this winter, and criticism that Government policy to that effect has essentially halted while the long-running Tory leadership contest rumbles on, with Boris Johnson a lame duck in No10.

Will Quince, a schools minister, asked on LBC if more support was coming, said: "There is no question in my mind whatsoever, both listening to the two leadership candidates but also just looking at our economy, and also the challenges that people and businesses are facing up and down this country driven by Putin's barbaric invasion and occupation of Ukraine, that the Government is going to act and put in place a further package of support measures.

"Now, we will have to wait a couple of weeks for a new prime minister to set out their agenda alongside a new chancellor, but both leadership contenders have been clear there will be a fiscal event and more help will be coming."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Italy G7 Foreign Ministers

Israel ‘gave US last-minute warning about drone attack on Iran’

Pictures of the Week Global Photo Gallery

Iran fires air defence batteries at two sites after drones spotted

Building on fire

Ukraine claims it shot down Russian bomber as Moscow’s missiles kill eight

Signs twinning Bournemouth with Israeli city mysteriously vanish as police probe apparent hate crime

Signs twinning Bournemouth with Israeli city mysteriously vanish as police probe apparent hate crime

Antonio Tajani

G7 foreign ministers warns of new sanctions on Iran and urge de-escalation

Boris Johnson breached rules for former ministers, watchdog rules

Boris Johnson breached government rules by being ‘evasive’ about links to hedge fund

The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology has 31 tracks

The hidden meaning behind tracks on Taylor Swift's new album as superstar blasts exes Joe Alwyn and Matty Healy

Passengers on London's transport network should be thrown off if they play music out loud, Susan Hall says

People who play music out loud on London transport ‘to be thrown off’ says Tory Susan Hall as mayoral race hots up

Google HQ

Japanese doctors demand damages from Google over ‘groundless’ reviews

EU proposes a deal on free movement for young people

Brussels offers the UK a free movement deal that would give young Britons the right to live in the EU

‘Not fair on taxpayers’: PM to unleash ‘sick-note squads’ as he tells Brits ‘you don’t get anything in life without hard work’

PM to unleash ‘sick-note squads’ as he tells Brits ‘you don’t get anything in life without hard work’

Air defences

Russia pummels exhausted Ukrainian forces ahead of springtime advance

Leonid Volkov

Two suspects held in Poland after attack on Navalny ally in Lithuania

Former President Donald Trump during jury selection at Manhattan criminal court

From a man who meditates every morning to a corporate lawyer: The 12 jurors who will decide Donald Trump's fate

There are fears the traditional fry-up is dying out because young people think it's too fatty

Gen Z shun the ‘greasy and high-calorie’ classic fry-up with one in ten never eating the famous dish

Taylor Swift performing during the Eras Tour

Taylor Swift reveals surprise 2am double album drop with record packed with secret messages and attacks on her exes