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The diaTribe blog is our occasional take on life, the universe and everything. Observations on current affairs, the environment, politics, humour and music/gig reviews. Travel diary and extreme sports stories, along with the usual rants/raves are also chucked in for good measure.

July 2008
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Rant: British Gas at it again!

Gas Flames

Yesterday’s announcement by Centrica-owned British gas of a record 35% price increase would have been enough for most of their long-suffering customers to content with, if it had been the only rise this year.

But it’s not of course. Let’s not forget the 15% retail price increase in January of this year, the 12.4% increase in September 2006 and the 14% increase in 2005. Taken collectively, they represent a non inflation-adjusted (but still gobsmacking) 96% rise in the last 3 years!

Of course British Gas blame the soaring costs of the wholesale gas market…and not all the wasted fuel, time, and effort for their moronic engineers to make 6 different visits to your house to fix your central heating system (this happened to a colleague of mine recently). And it’s got nothing to do with the £1.9million pay packet of Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw.

And most importantly, it’s definitely got nothing to do with the fact that as a producer of gas as well as a purchaser, Centrica/British Gas is allegedly in a position to make unprecedented windfall profits on both sides of the equation…but since they don’t reveal the profits they make as a gas producer, we probably will never know the full picture.

So we can all be rest-assured that the Centrica group profits of £10billion (not to mention the £992million operating profit) reported in Centrica’s interim profit statement (June 2008) have absolutely nothing to do with any form of price gouging by a bunch of thieving, greedy, selfish, small-minded, myopic, fat-cat bastards, whose only purpose in life is to screw every penny of of those of us unfortunate enough to be their “customers”.

Isn’t that nice to know?

The energy saving tips from the Centrica website are of course rather useful (though hardly earth-shattering), and I’d like to add a couple of my own, starting with this:

Change your energy supplier as soon as possible

…and now the finer detail

  1. Have separate suppliers for your gas and electricity. Remember that bloke in the suit that you met outside your local supermarket awhile ago? You know…the one who persuaded you to get your gas company to also supply your electricity? Sorry – but it was largely a con! You haven’t saved very much and worse – you are now completely at the mercy of a single supplier. If you get stroppy with them, they can now cut off both your gas and electricity!
  2. Compare your options. It’s much easier now than it was even a couple of years ago. There’s a number of websites such Switchwise that will help you figure out the best option for you in terms of usage, price etc. So turn off that TV (it’s all crap anyway!) and get surfin’
  3. Use a green electricity supplier. When you decide to switch your electricity supplier, consider a green alternative such as Ecotricity, who not only use renewable energy resources to generate electricity, they also reinvest a hefty portion of their earnings into expanding their wind farms. This has allowed them to offer a competitive pricing tariff, which also helps lower carbon emissions and best of all, it takes money out of the Pockets of Sam Laidlaw and his Centrica cronies.
  4. Produce your own juice. The technology to produce your own electricity has moved on in leaps and bounds. Companies such as Bioplex Technologies are developing small-scale versions of industrial composting facilities, suitable for use in offices, prisons, hospitals, schools and…eventually…homes like yours. Not only do they make compost, but they also produce enough methane and bio-fuel to meet a sizable portion of your energy needs. It’s not all the way there yet, but it’s not far away so keep an eye on the news…

Oh – and here’s a few other general tips you might find interesting.

Good luck and remember…every quid you take from Centrica is worth almost two quid in non-inflation adjusted profit. biggrin

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2 Comments for: Rant: British Gas at it again!

  1. Visitor Comment # 1
    Brenda Smith : (Visitor)

    Already switched to Powergen

  2. Visitor Comment # 2

    and it’s aaaallllright in fact it’s all cash
    and it’s NOT aaaallllright, I cant afford to pay for my gas gas gas!

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