Centrica chief to waive bonus amid anger around British Gas price hikes

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The boss of British Gas's parent company is to waive his bonus in light of heavy public criticism following the firm's latest batch of price increases.

Centrica chief, Sam Laidlaw, said with trust in the industry at an all time low he did not feel it right to take his bonus this year.

Speaking at the CBI annual conference in London, he said: "Bonuses are independently set by our remuneration committee but in this environment there is a case for leadership.

"Just to continue in this world where households are under pressure, and assume it is business as normal, is not the way thoughtful remuneration committees think about it."

British Gas is one of four of the 'Big Six' to increase its energy bills this year, increasing them by an average of 9.2% from November 23. Fellow 'Big Six' firm SSE announced an 8.2% rise in bills from November 15, npower 10.4% from December 1 and Scottish power 8.6% from December 6.

Mr Laidlaw, who raked in almost £5m last year including over £1m in cash bonuses, also said the firm would look to lower bills if there was a switch away from environmental and social costs to other factors however.

He added: "We are listening – we get it, absolutely. We know there is a problem."

British Gas is part of the government's Green Deal scheme designed to help homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their home and cut down energy bills, as well as the levels of carbon produced.

Under the initiative, customers can seek loans on things such as fitting a new energy efficient boiler, wall insulation or other such measures designed to improve domestic energy usage.

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