Energy Prices

When British Gas announced last week that they had seen a rise in their profits for 2012, national newspapers splashed with angry headlines, writes Peter Luff MP.

But I can see why Droitwich people are worried.. After a cold winter, the double whammy of high prices and the need to use more fuel means we are all facing high bills. For the most vulnerable this can be a huge worry.

But Iím not joining the rush to condemn British Gas. Profits are not automatically bad. Itís what you do with them and why you earned them that can make all the difference.

First, British companies pay tax on their profits Ė and that helps all of us.

And profit is crucial for a company to succeed and survive. Thatís because most of a companyís profits are usually reinvested in the business. In the case of gas and electricity, we desperately need that reinvestment to make sure we have dependable sources of energy into the future.

The rest is distributed to shareholders, most of which are not rich individuals but pension funds providing pensions for millions of people.

Worcestershire consumers, though, are really feeling the pinch thanks to rising energy bills, and thatís why the Government is making sure they get the best possible deal.

A personal commitment from David Cameron to help get energy bills down has led Ofgem (the energy regulator) to announce a package to make sure energy bills are fair for everyone. Consumers will be able to work out their individual energy options through simpler choices and clearer information. New rules will make sure energy companies are fined if they do not treat their customers better.

The Government wants consumers to get the best possible energy tariff - no tricks, no loopholes. The changes are due to be introduced this summer. After this very cold winter, at a time when consumers are hard pressed, they canít come soon enough.


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