There’s nothing that sparks outrage like a gas and electricity bill. Much to the dismay of the country’s “Big Six’”energy suppliers, they risk overtaking the banks as public enemy number one.
But a new YouGov poll shows that, despite the fury, the companies may have a more sympathetic hearing if they managed to explain their side of the story.
YouGov found that 76 per cent of the nation want the Government to do more to crack down on the sector. This is to be expected. Yet when asked what an acceptable profit margin on the average bill would be, nearly one in five people said between 10 to 20 per cent.
British Gas would kill for a margin that high. Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of British Gas parent Centrica, regularly points out that the supplier’s margins bounce around the 5 per cent mark. Npower insists it hasn’t made a profit for three years. The industry points out the average annual bill is £1,400, just over £3 a day.
The energy industry is nearly as hated as the banks. But the Government needs to keep it on side