Fury as energy firms post record profits while squeezed Brits face monthly bills of £500

28 July 2022, 15:58 | Updated: 28 July 2022, 17:27

Brits have been rocked by soaring energy prices while firms post bumper profits
Brits have been rocked by soaring energy prices while firms post bumper profits. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Energy firms have infuriated squeezed Brits after posting record profits while they face soaring gas bills.

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Shell broke its profit record for a second consecutive quarter, raking in £9.5bn, while British Gas owner Centrica posted operating profits of £1.34bn in the six months to the end of June, an increase of five-fold on the same period in 2021.

ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP are also expected to post strong results soon.

That is despite warnings from consultancy group BFY warning that bills could hit £500 for January next year, and expects the price cap to hit £3,850 between then and April.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis tweeted: "I'm not focused on politics here, I'm focused on practicals. We need action. We have a govt but it's said it won't make big decisions until new PM is in.

"So get the current and potential PMs (from same party) to agree and get a decision now."

He said earlier: "The situation is hysterical. There are huge mental and physical health risks to millions from unaffordable energy and food price rises."

A Tory MP said he was beginning to wonder how he would afford things in the cost of living crisis.

Alec Shelbrooke told PoliticsHome: "To be honest, I'm not sure how in my family we're going to pay if it carries on going up this road."

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Sana Yusuf said: "Clearly not everyone is struggling with the energy crisis.

Energy and fuel prices are soaring
Energy and fuel prices are soaring. Picture: Getty

"These bumper profits will be greeted with disbelief by the millions of people across the UK who are faced with rocketing energy prices.

"The Government must impose a tougher windfall tax on energy firms."

But despite pleas for Mr Johnson and Tory leadership contenders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to trash out a plan, Ms Truss said now is "not time for another windfall tax".

Read more: Energy bills could soar to staggering £4k next year as experts warn of power cuts

Read more: British Gas owner's profits increase five-fold to £1.3b as energy bills soar

"What I believe is we need to keep taxes low to attract investment into industries," she said.

Mr Sunak has pledged to look again at whether more support is needed as bills rise.

The Government has already announced Brits will get £400 off bills in October to try and help with rising energy prices, and the poorest households will also get £650 to help with the cost of living crisis.

The bumper profits come as Vladimir Putin weaponises gas supplies. Wholesale gas prices across Europe soared after Putin halved supplies to the continent through the NordStream pipeline.

The measures are worth £15bn in total and are financed partly by a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas company profits.

In Hanover, authorities have banned hot water and central heating in public buildings and Germans have been told to expect sky high electricity bills and sweeping gas rationing measures that will affect their day-to-day lives.I

Other desperate gas-saving measures include switching off public fountains and blacking out night-time lights on major buildings such as the town hall and museums.

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