Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences


The Danger for British Gas

The news that British Gas is declaring annual profits of £571m for its residential business – a jump of around 500% on its 2006 figures – with an anticipated increase of 17% in dividend payouts, only a month after announcing a 15% increase in its charges for supply of gas and electricity, is astoundingly bad PR (public relations) management. Especially when the profits reflect cost-cutting exercises that cost 2,000 employees their jobs, with another 1,000 redundancies planned for the coming year. The critical furore right across the news media, the vicious attacks from consumer interest groups and the welcome for the investigation by the energy regulator, Ofgem, could easily have been foreseen – and should have been! Ostensibly British Gas looks like a company in ‘Aristocracy’ on the Organisation LifeCycle – arrogant, flaunting its wealth, insensitive to public perception of its actions, with a determined focus on shareholder interests and profit maximisation, rather than customer (consumer) needs As the newspapers dig deeper, in a bid to see who can splash British Gas with the most mud, we see figures bandied about like Centrica, the owner of British Gas, declaring profits of £2bn this year while the average household energy bill has… Read More

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