British Gas chief to give up £1.1m bonus as households face bill surge

The chief executive of British Gas parent firm Centrica has waived his bonus for last year, saying the award “didn’t feel right” as households grapple unprecedented increases to their energy bills.

CEO Chris O’Shea said he had decided to give up the £1.1m bonus as the household supply business reported a 44% rise in annual operating profits to £118m.

It was helped by the cold end to last winter which saw temperatures struggle to recover seasonal norms until June.

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Time to move away from ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ market says energy boss

The sector has since been shocked by unprecedented increases in wholesale gas costs which they have been unable to fully pass on to customers because of the energy price cap, forcing almost 30 suppliers out of business.

British Gas said it had taken on 700,000 households as a result of the supplier failures and the hit it had suffered, as a result of having to find those customers energy supplies, had been partly offset by warm weather towards the end of 2021.


The company explained that the conditions had allowed it to cash in on higher prices by selling gas and electricity it had already bought in advance.

The surge in natural gas prices is due to be further reflected in the energy price cap increase due on 1 April.

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It will raise the average annual cost of a dual fuel bill by almost £700.

A further hike is expected in October and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has stoked worries that a new wave of energy price rises will place even more strain on family budgets.

Centrica, which also revealed plans to pay back the £27m it had claimed from the government to furlough its staff during the COVID crisis, said it was imperative that regulation of the market was fit for this era of price volatility.

Mr O’Shea called for energy bosses to pass a “fit and proper person” test and that Ofgem should stop the practice of companies financing themselves with customer deposits.