British Gas owner Centrica has seen their profits soar to more than £3 billion during the energy and cost of living crisis.
Centrica reported underlying operating profits of £3.3 billion compare to £948 million in 2021 and they have been accused of “coining it in from our massive energy bills while sending bailiffs to prey on vulnerable consumers.”
Shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband slammed the government and insisted the Labour Party would introduce a “proper” windfall tax on energy companies.
He wrote on Twitter, “It cannot be right that, as oil and gas giants rake in the windfalls of war, Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives refuse to implement a proper windfall tax that would make them pay their fair share.
“Labour would use a real windfall tax to stop the energy price cap going up in April.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “British Gas owner Centrica has been coining it in from our massive energy bills while sending bailiffs to prey on vulnerable consumers the length and breadth of the country.
“These energy companies are showing us everything that is wrong with the UK’s broken economy.
“Rishi Sunak should get a grip – pull the plug on rampaging energy profiteering, impose a meaningful, tough windfall tax and give the NHS a pay rise with the proceeds.”
The Times launched an investigation into Arvato Financial Solutions who were hired by British Gas to pursue debts.
Arvato has been accused of breaking into people’s homes after obtaining an High Court warrant to fit prepayment meters into home ignoring the clear signs that disabled people were living at the addresses and signs that children also live there.
The energy regulator’s spokesperson said, “These are extremely serious allegations from The Times. We are launching an urgent investigation into British Gas and we won’t hesitate to take firm enforcement action.
“It is unacceptable for any supplier to impose forced installations on vulnerable customers struggling to pay their bills before all other options have been exhausted and without carrying out thorough checks to ensure it is safe and practicable to do so.
“The energy crisis is no excuse for unacceptable behaviour towards any customer, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances.”
Centrica said in a statement after The Times broke the news story, “all warrant activity” has now been suspended and protecting their vulnerable customers is an “absolute priority.”