Business Gas and Electricity Prices

Centrica this week gave the clearest signal yet of increased Gas and Electricity business bills later this year on the back of rising wholesale costs driven by political unrest in north Africa and the Middle East and the aftermath of natural disasters in Japan.

That message, in its latest interim management statement, was echoed by RWE Npower chief operating officer Kevin McCulloch,who told Utility Week the other big six energy companies in the UK were likely to take their cue from British Gas, Centrica's retail arm.

Centrica's statement said that forward wholesale gas and power prices for the coming winter were 25 per cent higher than last winter. Pointedly, the statement warned that "end-user prices [have] yet to reflect this higher wholesale market price environment". However, Consumer Focus dismissed that as a reason for British Gas to raise prices because Centrica will "benefit hugely at the production end from higher wholesale gas and business electricity prices".

Centrica also said it had decided to partially "mothball" four of its fleet of combined cycle gas turbine plants, which represent 20 per cent of its generation capacity, because spark spreads remained too low, below £5 per MWh for much of the year to date.

If market conditions improve, the plant could return to service within two to three days.

Scottish Power owner Iberdrola posted profit of more than £900 million for the first time for any three-month period. But the firm said the contribution from its UK subsidiary was down compared with the first quarter of 2010. Its generating capacity in the UK has now climbed to more than 7GW, 2 per cent up year on year.

If you think you are paying too much for your business Gas and Electricity Prices get a quote now, the only thing you could loose is higher energy prices.

3rd June, 2011

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