Friday, 13 March 2009

Winter blues and the gas bill

A sure-fire way to have a heart attack in your 20s is to get your winter gas bill.

The nice people at British Gas sent ours last week - £319.13

That’s three-hundred and nineteen pounds and thirteen pence. For me, that’s a lot.

It’s not an estimate. There’s no computer glitch, no mistake with the decimal point. It’s so exact I can’t even complain they’ve added an extra zero by accident.

Yes I feel hard done by. The winter was particularly cold. London had its best snow (or worst, depending how you look at it) in 18 years. I even tried my best at reducing energy consumption by wearing five layers and hugging a hot water bottle. I have a right to be warm, don’t I? I feel I should get brownie points and pay less for finding alternative means to keep warm, like alcohol imbibing (quite effective that).

Now I’m sure some of you received bills much bigger than mine and I’m genuinely sorry for you, but for me £319.13 (which, when divided between three flatmates equates to £106.38 each) is just downright exorbitant. I feel exploited and ripped off. I mean here we are in a middle of a recession, and I’m forking out this money as if it grows on trees, only to have it go towards some executive’s nice fat juicy bonus – albeit £319.13 won’t get him that far, but you get what I mean.

The news last month was that profits at British Gas dropped 34% to £379 million – a result of wholesale gas price hikes and despite already raising the British consumers’ gas price by 35%.

But hello – the company still made a whopping profit. A big £379 million. Unless I’m mistaken, that seems an awful lot of money.

You know, I suppose I should be grateful the company has now cut its prices by 10%. Only, if you do the maths, you would see that prices are still 25% higher.

So then my last gripe is that not only do I have to pay this ridiculously expensive bill but the nice people at British Gas expect me to be able to pay this within a week of receiving the bill. Are they trying to take the piss?

It becomes dire when the thought of pimping yourself out is a viable option to pay the bill.

Well, the nice people at British Gas should be happy; I paid the bill in full and on time – and by legitimate means. All I can say now is bring on summer.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing like a cold spell to revise one's opinions of those geriatric fashion statments, the woollen Long Johns and spencers! Could this price hike spell the beginning of the recovery of the woollen clothing industry, I wonder?