Gas company reports good profits after cold winter

British Gas

It has been reported today that British Gas had made a good start to the calender year, with it’s parent Centrica The company said average gas consumption in the first three months of the year was 7% higher and electricity 2% higher than the same time in 2009.  The company have also been successful in attracting in excess of 200,000 new domestic customers, due to the passing on the reduction in wholesale gas prices.

Obviously we are all aware how much colder this winter has been.  Even this week (1-2 week May) I have had my central heating switched on, all be it on a low setting.  This has got me thinking, firstly, should the government be responsible for energy supplies and either make the profit for central funds or secondly regulate the price?  After all this extra revenue could go into funding renewable, insulation and education.  I realise of course that these companies, not just Centrica contribute to the UK economy, through taxes, jobs and research, but we are reaching a critical stage in our energy policy and requirements.

Measure to do at home, makes a difference?

Most people are aware of the various measure they can take to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, many are simply out of reach for many.  We can all insulate the loft, the cavity walls, exclude drafts, add better doors and windows (many of that list can be purchased through grants), some can clad the exterior, especially where solid walls are present.  But really does it make any difference, if as a society we feel that it is not only acceptable, but some kind of necessity to fly at least once a year and drive to the supermarket.  When we get to the supermarket it is okay to purchase something flown from the other side of the world.  Food miles has a lot of in-built energy in it and my point is, does it actually make any difference if we cut the CO2 output from our homes?  We are told something like one third of the UK’s CO2 comes from homes, but surely we are such creatures of habit, that this is virtually impossible to change, unless we are hit with sticks (tax and fuel rises) and fed carrots (grants, warmer homes and small bills).  Perhaps the way forward is off-setting?