British Gas surged into a comfortable lead in the race to raise energy prices by as much as possible after announcing a 9.2% increase today. This easily beat the early pace-setters SSE, who last week announced a paltry 8.2% rise in prices.
The company said that it 'understands the frustration' of prices rising faster than incomes but 'basically doesn’t give a shit, because we want to make more money'.
'I know these are difficult times for many customers but SSE started it, not us, and if you think that we were going to miss an opportunity like this then you are clearly some kind of moron.' said Ian Peters, managing director of British Gas Residential Energy.
While no official price-fixing takes place between energy companies, because that would be illegal, any one of the main suppliers can increase their prices at any time safe in the knowledge that the others will follow suit almost immediately, panic-stricken at the thought of missing out on extra profit.
'Increasing costs, increased demand, government levies, outside of our control, blah blah blah.' continued Mr Peters, 'You know what? You’re not really listening because you don’t believe a word I say, I’m lying through my teeth anyway, so let’s just say this; we’re putting prices up. Ok? Deal with it. And be thankful that it’s not by more. Although we will of course revise our figure upwards if anybody else increases their prices by more. We’ll probably mumble something about ‘further, unforeseen cost increases’ as we do it if that helps.'
British Gas are the UK’s biggest energy supplier and said in May that a profit boost would be used 'to effectively hold prices for as long as possible'.
'We did say that, but that was in May. That’s five months ago. That’s ‘as long as possible’.' explained Mr Peters, 'Have you ever smoked? You know when you decide to quit but then you go out with some friends and they’re all smoking, you can’t resist can you? You have to just have one cigarette. Well that’s what this is like. We promise to freeze prices from now until the next time we announce an increase though.'
Labour leader, Ed Miliband, responded to the news by saying 'Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! I said I’d freeze energy prices if elected. I did say that, it’s just that nobody was listening because I don’t realistically have the power to do that. Well I will. So vote for me.'
'Go on. I’ll give you a million pounds too.'