Centrica poised to flounce if elected Labour bring in energy price freeze

25 September 2013

Some gas, yesterday.

Poor old profit-crazed Centrica are in a tizz today, after Ed Miliband threw a potential spanner in their money-producing works.

During his speech at the Labour party conference yesterday, Miliband announced that a 2015 Labour government would introduce a 20-month energy price freeze.

While shivering punters and consumer groups are pleased at the prospect of this, the energy suppliers seem less enamoured, claiming that price freezes could lead to blackouts and all other manner of horribleness. Yeah, right.

Miliband said that suppliers have been overcharging for years and that a temporary freeze will save households an average of £120 a year, while businesses could look to save about £1,800 per year.

He’s not scared to roll his sleeves up and wade into a fight either (apparently). The Labour leader said that he’ll ‘take action’ if suppliers respond by upping their prices ahead of a 20-month freeze.

‘It's time we fixed it and they can either choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution. I hope they choose to be part of the solution,’ he snarled while sucking some gas out of a tube and spitting it into a bin. Possibly.

Since 2007, gas bills have risen by an average of 41% in real terms, while electricity has gone up by 20%, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This has contributed to overall industry profits of £2.15bn in 2009, £2.22bn in 2010, £3.87bn in 2011 and £3.74bn in 2012.

We’re no mathematicians, but we’re fairly certain that the energy industry won’t collapse if faced with a 20-month price freeze on the back of those numbers.

Centrica have responded by hinting that they might be prepared to pull out of the UK if Labour are elected and the freeze is introduced. Fine – it was Phil Collins who threatened to bugger off before they were elected in 1997 and we all coped quite nicely with that situation.


  • jay
    They were threatening us with outages before this. Go for it Ed, if we are in the dark at least I can afforf to buy a candle!
  • jim
    yeah - fuck the energy companies. like they have made a loss - ever. no they rake in shit loads off us should never have privatised them.
  • Matron
    So their response to possibly not being allowed to make even fatter profits would be to pull out of the market entirely, and therefore not get any money off us? Good logic!
  • jim
    It'll never happen politicians are far too spineless for such things. This is the type of thing the opposition always promise before elections, it just comes down to whether you want to believe in them and be let down or stick with the let down you know.
  • jim
    jim - please change yer name - like stick a capital in it or something man dont immitate dude get me blhud?
  • Mr M.
    They will never leave a market that's making them billions of profit each year.
  • Mr. P.
    The Boy Miliband isn't going to win so he can promise us the moon on a stick for all the difference it'll make.
  • shiftynifty
    Fuck it...go for it Ed...we can afford candles if it goes tits up
  • Andy A.
    milliband is a cock this is a promise he can't fulfil - and an election is normally April - brilliant time to freeze energy prices when no-one is fukin cold Absolute dick - and his mate balls. British Gas have 25 million customers - the dark masonic rooms run this country - regardless what Ed says. Idiot
  • shakesheadsadly
    It is VERY easy to promise wonderful things when you know damn well you have exactly ZERO chance of ever being in a position to actually do it. Tell you what. Vote for me as Prime Minister and if I win, I'll give you all a GOLD BAR. And a Ferrari. And a night with the celebrity of your choice. Even if they're dead!
  • Euan
    Ho hum, comment from yesterday still in moderation. Let's take out the leading http from a link and see if that helps. Curiously, if you take a look at www.energy.eu/#Domestic-Elec you’ll find that our energy prices are actually pretty decent compared to most other Western European countries…
  • Euan
    Curiously, if you take a look at www (dot) energy (dot) eu/#Domestic-Elec you’ll find that our energy prices are actually pretty decent compared to most other Western European countries… (yeah, annoying lack of URL I know, however putting the link in properly results in comment going into moderation... which does not seem a fast process)
  • Terry
    I don't see how this is legal for them to do it. They privatized, so they sold their say. It is only like any other business, even if it is raking in millions in profits at other peoples expenses.
  • Dick
    Ed has fucked up share prices for the energy companies, so the energy companies should hit back with something along the lines of the average prices will remain fixed after the next election. But we will introduce more localised regional charging and charge people in Labour constituencies more than people in Tory ones.
  • tom
    @Terry, you pillick. States can put all kinds of laws and terms on private companies. TAX is one, or what about monopoly laws or any other of the thousands of conditions but in place.
  • fibbingarchie
    Price controls just do not work, lots of unintended consequences ensue.
  • Tribalgeoff
    I can't believe how many angry Dicks post on this discussion! Surely mega-corporations have the right to embezzle elderly and vulnerable members of society? Isn't that how Aristotle defined "democracy": The right of the powerful and advantaged to batter the weak? Yeah those Socialists! Their economic terrorists aren't they?!? I think I will go and wrap myself in a nice warm copy of the Daily Flail
  • Kevin
    'We’re no mathematicians, but we’re fairly certain that the energy industry won’t collapse if faced with a 20-month price freeze on the back of those numbers.' That's obviously not the point. And I think people are forgetting who are major shareholders in these companies that everyone wants to give a kicking. Our own pension schemes! I can certainly see one company throwing their toys out of their pram if this happened and instantly firing a few thousand people on the first day of a new government. They can shut down power stations and leave them for months with no problems I'm sure. Would be legal as there is no legal responsibility for them to provide jobs, only power to their customers, and they could pull that from abroad, even if it ended up being very expensive. Labour are stupid anyway. They should have just said there would be a tax applied to the providers. Freezing is interfering in the market, taxation is a normal part of business.

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