Centrica, owner of British Gas, warns that future price caps could see a rise in utility bills
Whoever gets into 10 Downing Street in the next month will have a mountain to climb. First, there’s Brexit. Then there’s some of the associated problems with leaving the European Union, such as the security of our energy supplies. For some people, energy security is about paying the bills and getting the gas or electricity meter filled up. In the last few years, price caps have been suggested, to ensure gas and electricity bills are affordable.
The notion is nothing new: Ed Miliband suggested it, and it was added to the 2015 Labour Party manifesto. This year, Theresa May’s Conservative Party have suggested price caps. Whether May, Corbyn, or Farron gets into 10 Downing Street, something could stand in the way of the Tories’ proposal: Centrica.
Shortly after the Prime Minister made her announcement, Centrica claimed that price caps would stifle competition and lead to higher utility bills. In The Guardian and on the Business Matters magazine website, the owners of British Gas made this statement:
“Centrica does not believe in any form of price regulation. Evidence from other countries would suggest this will lead to reduced competition and choice, and potentially higher average prices.”
“However our focus on competitive pricing, cost efficiency, improved service levels, rewarding loyalty and delivering propositions which customers want should leave us competitively well-positioned in order to deal with whatever form of market change is ultimately enacted.”
Centrica has also claimed that proposed price caps will lead to job losses. 1,500 jobs could be affected.
British Gas’ prices are frozen till August of this year. Its other five rival suppliers, including EDF Energy and E-on Energy, have already increased their utility bills.