British Gas: Sizzling profits from a cold winter

British Gas: Sizzling profits from a cold winter Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The cold start to the year may have been bleak for us - but it left British gas basking in soaring profits. As its residential earnings leap. That has led to renewed calls for a better deal.

Here are the basic figures:

  • Profits were up 23% for the first half of the year

  • £345 million was made from domestic customers - almost a million pounds every day of the week

  • And profits from services like boiler repairs and home care were also up - to £125 million

Consumer groups want a guarantee that prices will not rise this year...that's based on a Centrica statement in may which warned of a risk of increases. Since then the wholesale price of gas has dropped by around 20% from its peak in 2011 - but the price British Gas charges has not fallen by nearly as much. And beyond that - some say these profits should lead to price cuts for customers.

Centrica says this is only a big rise based on last years unusually low profits in mild weather. And they say they are investing £1.5 billion this year in new energy production. To keep Britain's lights on takes mammoth investment - and they say to achieve that they have to have healthy finances. But of course - in these hard times most customers are more concerned about their own finances.