For as long as energy companies continue to post record profit while consumers are facing soaring energy bills the debate around some form of windfall tax is not going to go away.
However, some of the heat has been taken out of the debate by some very mild autumn temperatures – reflected in a weak showing for Centrica’s British Gas retail business.
“Centrica is both a producer and supplier of energy and it’s on the production and marketing side that it is continuing to enjoy extremely strong profit – enabling it to lift guidance and unveil a buyback,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“Centrica is concerned about the impact of some customers being unable to pay their bills and it is clearly aware of the reputational issues as it puts more money into a customer support fund.
“It may not feel like it just now with temperatures regularly in double digits nearly halfway into November, but winter is coming and the pressures are only going to get more acute.
“Centrica will be nervously awaiting the outcome of the Autumn Statement a week today where there may an extension of the existing windfall tax.”