Centrica, which owns the energy company, revealed on Thursday that it made a statutory operating profit of £2.1 billion in the first six months of this year, up from £1.3 billion in 2022.
Centrica also revealed that British Gas had a nearly 900% surge in profits just between January and June – meaning it earned a whopping £969 million, up from £98 million last year.
It comes after Ofgem’s energy price cap allowed suppliers to claim back some of the costs of supplying energy to customers to make up for costs accumulated during the pandemic.
But, this hefty profit has seriously angered the general public, especially considering high energy bills were one of the driving forces behind the start of the cost of living crisis.
Other energy firms have also reported particularly high profits from oil and gas recently, even though energy prices are not as high as they were last year in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He said the profits will “allow us to increase our customer support package to more than £100 million”, and fund a new green investment strategy.
Ofgem has also claimed the profits were a “one-off”.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “While many consumers will find high profits difficult to accept at a time when they are struggling, no sector can survive for long losing money.
“These figures are reasonable and expected, given that for this time period only they are largely made up of some of the genuine costs and losses made over several years due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
However, not everyone was so convinced.
Ed Miliband, Labour’s Shadow Climate and Net Zero Secretary, condemned the profits, saying they “demonstrate the continuing scandal of the Tory failure to act on the windfalls of war being pocketed by the oil and gas companies”.
He called out Chancellor Jeremy Hunt for “asking energy giants to be nice” on Wednesday, and suggested the government should amend its windfall tax on oil and gas profits, claiming that’s what Labour would do – while making Britain a “clean energy superpower”.
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey claimed the news “beggars belief that after all these months this Conservative government is still allowing energy firms to rake in extraordinary profits while millions of families struggle.”
He added: “People are fed up with excuses from the out of touch and failing government, who just do not seem to care.“It’s time for a general election and a proper windfall tax to fund the support families desperately need.”
Oxfam also slammed the results, with head of policy and advocacy Katy Chakrabortty saying the profits are a “gross injustice”.
She explained: “As we are seeing this summer with heatwaves, droughts and floods that are destroying lives on an unprecedented scale, these profits come with a huge climate cost.
“The UK government should be taxing these rich polluters more and helping to incentivise a fair switch to clean, renewable energy.”
And here’s how people reacted on Twitter....
Not everyone hid their frustration behind sarcasm though – many people called out how the cost of living crisis is still a major concern for many Brits.