Natural gas, the nation’s most prevalent heating fuel, has been getting cheaper on the wholesale markets, but unlike heating oil, the steep drops seen have not been passed on to the domestic user.
The price of natural gas has dropped from over 90p per therm to just over 40p per therm over 30 months, which is a steep drop even for a fuel notorious for volatile price swings.
For the same period the gas fired central heating user has seen a slim trimming in their bills. Earlier this month, British Gas became one of the last Big Six providers to announce it's intention to lower gas prices with a 5.1% decrease coming in from March 16th, just when the gas requirement for home heating reduces significantly for the summer. On the back of this today British Gas announced £574000000 profit (a rise of 31%).
Fuel Poverty Action a campaign group for those struggling to pay their energy bills, said the figures released today showed the company was profiteering at the expense of hard-pressed consumers.
The lower wholesale prices are expected by many analysts to linger and could reduce electricity prices and heating bills further in the coming months. Natural gas is the most widely used household heating fuel in the UK, with over 40% of these users buying from British Gas. Natural gas is also used to generate a significant percent of the nation’s electricity.