12/10/2012

The Price Of Gas Goes Up... Again

The Evening Standard tells us "British Gas Set To Hike Power Prices". If you see Sid, tell him he's a dick.

Everyone is upset that British gas is increasing the cost of gas and electricity by around 8% when only recently did it announce £1.5 billion profit in 6 months.

I say everyone. I'm not. It shouldn't come as a surprise. British Gas is a private company and if a company can do something to maximise its profits for its shareholders, it should.

Let me explain it this way.

INTERIOR. BOARD ROOM. MEN IN SUITS SIT ROUND A LARGE TABLE
MAN1: So, we made £1.5 billion in the last six months. What should we do next?
MAN2: Oh, I don't know, maybe not worry about earning anything else for a while. Just chill.

Said no one, in no board room, never.

You can't blame the company. All you can do is blame whoever thought it was a good idea to turn British Gas into a private company. Why would you let someone be in charge of making profit from something we all need, heat?

The excuse that's normally made for privatisation is that it improves efficiency. And it does. It makes a provider of a basic need more efficient at charging us the highest amount for something the market will allow.

Some say increased competition after privatisation will keep the costs down. Tell that to the gas companies, the electricity companies, the water companies, the train companies... you get the picture.

In other newspapers there has been talk about investing in fracking in the UK so the cost of gas can be driven down. That would be a great idea, if the price that we pay ever went down when the raw gas price drops. All that will happen is British Gas, and other such companies, will force the price of gas up, which will make us willing to accept fracking rocking parts of the north to bits, and when the cost of gas goes down we'll still be paying the same for it on our bills, but the gas companies will taken even bigger profits.

Basically, we're screwed, but I never like leaving an article on a down beat, so to make us feel better I'll mention the woman in France who was sent a phone bill for €11,721,000,000,000,000.

A phone bill that's nearly 6,000 times the country's annual economic output. Wow. I know women can talk, but...

Clearly that's just a joke and it was a mistake on the part of the billing department. But it's the closest thing to something that could make us feel better about being charged even more for basic heating just as we head into winter.

>Read the source story
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