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British Gas profits anger consumer groups

Parent company Centrica today confirmed that its residential arm, British Gas, is on target to increase profits by over 50% for the full year. This comes at a time when wholesale prices have fallen by 25% during 2009 yet the cost to consumers has only been reduced by 10%. This particular anomaly has upset many consumer groups who have targeted Centrica and the British Gas division as an example of how "consumers are losing out".

Over the last few months there have been many squabbles in the press regarding energy groups and energy prices but the bare facts are that wholesale prices have fallen by 25% during 2009 yet customer charges have only fallen by 10%. Is this definitive proof that consumers are losing out?

The UK government has on numerous occasions attempted to place pressure on energy companies to pass on wholesale price reductions as soon as possible, but despite many promises from the energy sector very little appears to have been done. As we have mentioned are numerous occasions, more and more people are now falling into the fuel poverty gap which is leaving families short of funds to cover their everyday costs. Quite what the UK government will make of today's announcement from Centrica, and in particular the British Gas division, remains to be seen.

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