Should We Expect Further Price Cuts As British Gas Reports Increase In Residential Profits?

•Centrica’s profits fall 5%, while British Gas residential reports an increase in half year operating profits of 80% to £299 million (2008: £166 million)

energy Price Cuts

•Falling wholesale prices contribute to increased half year profits for British Gas residential

•Some of the benefits of falling wholesale prices already passed onto customers – British Gas has cut its prices twice this year shaving 10% or £126 in total off the average dual fuel bill

•Increase in profits should cushion customers from future price increases, and may even allow for further price cuts

• Average household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer has dropped from £1,328 to £1,202 this year – £290 or 32% higher than its average bill of £912 on the 1st January 2008

•British Gas has led the field in offering the most competitive energy plan, only recently losing its crown to EDF Energy.

Centrica’s results today reveal that while overall profits have fallen, British Gas residential has reported a significant uplift in profits as a result of falling wholesale prices. Some of these benefits have already been passed onto customers with two price cuts this year totalling £126 or 10%.

This increase in profits should mean that customers can expect to be cushioned for some time from future price increases – last year BG increased prices by £416 or 46% – and there may even be the possibility of further price cuts to come

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at, says:”This increase in profits can only be a good thing for British Gas customers. While customers have already benefitted from two price cuts this year, today’s results should hopefully give them the peace of mind that they are unlikely to see any price increases for some time, and may even benefit from a further price cut. This year British Gas has led the field in offering the most competitive online plan in the market only recently losing its crown to French rival, EDF Energy. With today’s announcement, British Gas is in a strong position to fight back and reclaim the spot as Britain’s cheapest supplier.

“But rather than holding out for further price cuts, consumers should help themselves now by making sure they are paying the lowest possible price for their energy and learning to use less of it. Moving to dual fuel, paying by direct debit and signing up to an online plan will all help save money – in fact switching to a competitive plan could cut your energy bill by up to £425.”

About uSwitch: is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

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Do You Think You Understand Your Energy Bills? is campaigning for household energy bills to be made simpler, clearer and easier for consumers to understand after asking an examining board to give an independent assessment of the state of Britain’s energy bills. The findings were shocking – 45% of Brits may not actually be qualified enough to understand a household energy bill.

Energy Bills

According to examiners, people would need at least a higher grade GCSE or O’ level in maths to be able to get to grips with a household energy bill. This is because of the complexity and format of the information provided. But last year only 55% of GCSE maths students achieved this. Based on this pass rate, almost half of the population could be expected to struggle to understand an energy bill.

In reality, three quarters of people (75%) find energy bills confusing and 57% find it difficult to work out how their bill has been calculated. Because of this consumers are being urged to take action by:

-Joining the ‘Simpler, clearer, easier’ Facebook group: – Signing the ‘Better bills‘ petition: – Taking part in the Energy Bill Challenge:

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at says:”You shouldn’t need to be an ‘A’ grade student to be able to understand your energy bills. As things currently stand 45% of consumers are in danger of being excluded because of the complex way in which energy bills are written and presented today.”

Ann Robinson continues: “Ofgem is looking to address this, but it’s vital that consumers make their voices heard too. Take the challenge, join the ‘Simpler, clearer, easier’ group on Facebook and sign our e-Petition to get energy bills made simpler, clearer and easier for consumers to understand.”

The Energy Bill Challenge:

45% of people are not sufficiently qualified to understand a household energy bill – are you one of them? Find out if you’ve got what it takes to get to the bottom of a typical bill by taking the Energy Bill Challenge at:

Have paper, a pen and a calculator to hand and don’t forget to visit Facebook afterwards to let us know how you got on. And just in case you think it’s too easy, here’s what the Head of Mathematics at the examining board said:

Chair & Head of Mathematics, Edexcel:The amount of information, lack of explanations and format of the bills make them very difficult to process…… These things would make them inaccessible for most GCSE candidates unless considerable explanation was given.”

Good luck!

For more information visit or call 0800 093 06 07

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npower Launches Return Of Wallace And Gromit Advert

npower launches return of Wallace and Gromit to the small screen in a cracking new energy efficiency advert.

Wallace And Gromit Advert

In the latest 30 second ad the famous pair suffers another calamitous mishap when Wallace concocts a baa-rmy scheme to fill his loft with sheep for better insulation. As poor Gromit ‘rams’ shut the loft hatch, the ceiling begins to crack and the entire flock, along with plaster and rubble, come tumbling down.

Luckily npower Bob appears to tell them there is an easier way: most homes have poor loft insulation, so it’s wise to prepare for winter with the npower loft home insulation service to help save time, money and sheep.

Wallace and Gromit’s appearance is the second of a series of npower adverts starring the duo. Each ad will be characterised by the famous duo doing what they do best and inventing hair-brained schemes to make their home more energy efficient.

The ad, which premiered on Thursday 23rd July during the Home Show at 8.30pm on Channel 4, aims to highlight the benefits of insulating lofts properly and how Britain’s brightest energy company is helping to make energy efficiency easier. It follows the success of the first npower ad starring Wallace and Gromit, which aired in March this year and has sent installations of energy efficient boilers soaring.

Kevin Peake, npower marketing director, said: “Wallace and Gromit are a family favourite and the most famous Oscar winning duo in Britain. We’re hoping their positive approach to energy efficiency will help people see how simple it is to make small changes and a big difference to their energy bills.

“Although home insulation may not be an obvious priority while the weather’s warm, now is an ideal time to tick it off the to-do list as ready to save energy and money in the winter months.”

Even for those with loft insulation, the message is to check that it meets the recommended 270mm depth.

Supporting the campaign are two market-leading offers for loft insulation. For the DIY market, npower has teamed up with insulation manufacturer Rockwool and national builders merchant Build Center to offer 2for1 on rolls of insulation with free delivery thrown in. For those who don’t fancy having a go themselves, npower will provide and install the loft insulation in people’s homes.

Further details and terms and conditions for both offers are available on the npower website.

About npower:
npower is one of Britain’s largest electricity supplier and supplies gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK. npower is a market leader in renewable energy and sources the green energy for juice directly from renewable sources, at no extra cost.

RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark from Business in the Community (BITC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.

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EDF In Bid To Become Britain’s Cheapest Energy Supplier

EDF in bid to become Britain’s cheapest energy supplier

•EDF Energy brings out new online plan which is now cheapest on market – average annual bill £983
•New plan undercuts British Gas – previously Britain’s cheapest supplier – by £35. Will British Gas retaliate?
•Consumers set to benefit as average online price tumbles again to £1,029 – £210 cheaper than the average standard energy plan
•Households stuck on the most expensive standard plan in the market are now paying£379 a year more on average for their energy than those on the cheapest online plan.

EDF Energy has made a bid to take over British Gas’ spot as Britain’s cheapest energy supplier. The French supplier has today launched a new online energy plan that will cost households £983 a year on average – undercutting British Gas’ online plan by £35.

The announcement is the third this week where suppliers have brought out more competitive online energy plans in response to lowering wholesale prices and calls from consumers to lower prices. npower’s new plan in particular offers good value for those households with high or low energy usage. Expectations of an online energy price war have been raised and now all eyes will be on British Gas to see how it responds.

The recent moves have helped bring the average online energy bill down to £1,029 a year. Online plans now offer consumers a saving of £210 on average compared with traditional standard plans.

Will Marples, energy expert at, says: “The message from suppliers is now clear – if you want to cut the cost of your energy you have to go online. This is where competition is being played out and where consumers will feel the benefit of lowering wholesale prices.

“Online energy plans are now £210 a year cheaper on average than standard energy plans. This is an easy saving for households to make. I would urge anyone who is serious about cutting their bills to ditch traditional energy plans and move online today.”

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Dr. Edward Lovelace Has Been Appointed By Free Flow Power as Executive VP of Engineering

Free Flow Power Corporation announced today that Dr. Edward Lovelace has joined the company as Executive Vice President of Engineering at its wholly-owned subsidiary, Free Flow Power Technology LLC. Dr.

Lovelace will also be joining Free Flow Power Technology’s board of directors. Free Flow Power is a hydropower and hydrokinetic technology and project development company with offices in Gloucester, Massachusetts, New Orleans, Louisiana and Bellingham, Washington.

Dr. Lovelace was formerly Director of Engineering Development at Satcon Technology Corporation (NASDAQ CM: SATC), a market leader in power inverters that aggregate electricity from large-scale solar installations and synchronize it with the grid, and a developer of machinery and controls technology for propulsion and power conversion.

Prior to his nine years with Satcon, Dr. Lovelace spent six years with General Electric, where he was a Senior Control System Engineer in the Aircraft Engines Business Group. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, and a minor in Technology and Policy, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received the three-year Eisenhower Doctoral Fellowship award and has published and presented several papers primarily in the field of permanent magnet machinery and controls, including a first-prize paper for the IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications.

In announcing the new hire, Daniel Irvin, the CEO of Free Flow Power, commented“This is a key position for us. Ed is the perfect guy to optimize utility scale systems that bring output from many variable speed generators to the grid or a large industrial consumer.”

Dr. Lovelace remarked, “I have followed Free Flow Power’s developments since last year and became captivated by their whole approach from the product technology to the business strategy. I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to put my skills to work driving the engineering development plan through successful commercialization, and joining a team that has everything we need to succeed in this environment. Hydropower has been undervalued as a clean renewable resource, which is truly amazing given how significant the opportunity is in this arena.”

Free Flow Power Corporation is a hydropower and hydrokinetic generation company operating through two subsidiaries, Free Flow Power Technology and Free Flow Power Development. Free Flow Power Technology has developed the SmarTurbine Generator hydrokinetic technology to extract energy from moving water without building new dams or diversions or causing other adverse environmental impacts. The company is developing projects to deploy its hydrokinetic generators and to install hydroelectric generators on existing dams. Most of these projects are on the Mississippi River.

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