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Energy price – latest news: Fury at Shell and Centrica’s record profit amid inflation crisis

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Tory leadership race: Liz Truss welcomes Rishi Sunak’s pledge to cut VAT on energy bills

Oil company Shell has reported record profits of $11.5bn, doubling its earnings in a single year while British Gas owner Centrica has seen operating profits increase five-fold to £1.34 billion as energy bills soar.

Both companies profits were substantial increases on earnings compared to the same period last year, sparking fury from commentators amid a worsening inflation and cost of living crisis.

Commenting on the announcement, political economist Richard Murphy tweeted: “As I said when this cost of living crisis began, the hikes in prices did not disappear into a black hole. They went somewhere.

“And as I predicted that somewhere was into corporate profits, massively increasing the divisions and stresses in our society.”

The average household could face a bill of £500 for energy in January 2023, with a prediction of an annual price cap of £3,850, according to utilities consultancy BFY Group.

Speaking to TalkTV, former Energy UK chief Angela Knight said there was a “big question mark over those who are making extraordinary profits from an extraordinary world situation”.

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Martin Lewis urges government for immediate package of support to help households

An urgent package of support to help households cope with soaring energy bills should be thrashed out by Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, a consumer champion has demanded.

Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis said the “zombie government” must not wait until the conclusion of the Tory leadership contest to decide on help for households who will face the energy price cap rising to £3,500 or more.

He dismissed the extra help promised by Mr Sunak and Ms Truss during their leadership bids as “trivial” in the face of bills which are set to be £2,300 a year higher than they were last October.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

“It’s going to throw many households into a terribly difficult financial situation that will leave them making some awful choices.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the data that informs the price cap suggested it would increase 77% on top of a 52% rise in April, taking the typical bill to £3,500 a year.

“Others say it will be higher,” he warned.

“We are expecting it to rise again in January.”

Mr Lewis said the choice facing the Government was “you either have to cut prices for people or you have to put more money in their pockets, especially at the poorest level”.

But he added: “The problem is we have this zombie government at the moment that can’t make any big decisions.”

(PA )

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British Gas owner Centrica profits increase five-fold to £1.34 billion as energy bills soar

British Gas owner Centrica has seen operating profits increase five-fold to £1.34 billion as energy bills soar.

The company’s profits for the six months to the end of June were a substantial increase on earnings compared to the £262m recorded in the same period last year.

The energy giant announced it would be reinstating its dividend at 1p per share this year after suspending it for three years.

Group chief executive Chris O’Shea reportedly claimed Centrica’s profits were not down to customers’ rising energy bills.

My colleague Chiara Giordano reports:

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Shell profits hit record $11.5bn doubling in one year amid soaring energy prices

Oil company Shell has reported record profits of $11.5bn, doubling its earnings in a single year amid surging energy prices.

This is up from $5.5bn in April-June 2021- marking a $6bn increase in profits- and up from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

The oil giant recorded a fourteen-fold increase in quarterly profits earlier this year which had reignited calls for a windfall tax to relieve the burden on struggling families during the worsening cost of living crisis.

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Welcome to The Independent’s Energy Price live blog, where we will keep you up to speed with all the latest updates today.

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