Owner of British Gas warns record-high fuel prices could last two years

record-high fuel prices
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

As record-high fuel prices continue to rise and the cost of living crisis worsens, the boss of the UK’s biggest energy supplier has said the issue could last for up to two years. Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, said “the market suggests” high gas prices will continue “for the next 18 months to two years”.

Mr O’Shea has pointed towards the green policies of moving away from coal and oil as one of the reasons for the hikes. “As we move towards net zero, gas is a big transition fuel,” Mr O’Shea told the BBC. “And so as you turn off coal-fired power stations in other countries, there isn’t an abundance of gas that you can just turn on quickly.”

The record-high fuel prices come amid an energy crisis that has seen many smaller suppliers go bust, as the price for wholesale gas rises steeply. The rises have been blamed on many reasons, including a reduction of supplies from Russia and high demand for liquified natural gas from Asia, reports ITV News.


Fears are now being voiced that electricity bills could rise to unsustainable levels in 2022, with the average annual household bill reaching £2,000 according to industry analysis and data.

The record-high fuel prices have seen mounting pressure placed onto prime minister Boris Johnson to assist UK households before the capped bills increase planned for April. The prime minister is said to be backing a plan being developed by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng for state loans to firms threatened with closure over the winter.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has called for the government to urgently help consumers as Labour said official figures showed that rising energy, food and other bills meant the Treasury is expected to have an extra £3.1 billion in VAT receipts in 2021/22.

The opposition party has proposed that the government uses those higher-than-expected receipts to remove VAT on domestic gas and electricity bills completely through the winter months to help ease the burden on household bills.

Health minister Ed Argar said the government has put in “a whole range of measures” including the Warm Home Discount, the Household Support fund and changes to the Universal Credit taper to help protect poorer families and pensioners from rising costs.

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