Gloucestershire consumers shop around as energy prices rise and power firm profits increase
THE country's biggest energy supplier British Gas has announced an increase in profits after cold weather meant households kept the heating on for longer.
Profits from its residential energy supply rose to £606million – a rise of 11 per cent year on year. It said gas consumption had risen by 12 per cent.
All six major energy suppliers, including E.on, EDF, NPower and Scottish Power, raised their prices last year.
British Gas increased its gas and electricity prices by six per cent in November.
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With prices constantly rising, the people of Gloucestershire are not impressed.
Bank clerk Jackie Hunt, 51, from Lydney, said: "Me and my husband do not tend to shop around for the best rates because of past experiences.
"We used to go to different providers but transferring the details was a slow process.
"At the moment we are happy being with British Gas."
Ashley Witers, 25, a full- time mother, is not surprised that the prices keep going up.
Ashley, from the city centre, said: "My husband usually deals with the gas bills and we have always been with the same provider.
"If there was a big increase then we would need to shop around."
Janet Pearson, 70, from Longlevens, spends time each week checking prices for gas and electricity.
She said: " I compare all the rates thoroughly. But as the prices increase, it is not as if we can stop cooking and reducing how much we put the heating on."
Phil Bowell, 28, from Cheltenham town centre, said: "It does seem that the prices are going up a lot at the moment.
"It does raise questions when they are making such a large profit."
Lee Willcox, 27, of Springbank, said:"We do keep a close eye on the bills for our gas.
"You want to be sure you are always getting a good deal."
Olivia Nicholls, 25, of Bishop's Cleeve, said: "When you hear about the profits of companies like British Gas, then it does make you wonder why the prices cannot come down."