Chris O’Shea, the CEO of Centrica, will receive a bonus after its parent company reported its profits had tripled. The announcement comes after Centrica posted profits for the first half of 2021, which rose to £1.2bn ($1.6bn) compared to £331m in 2020. The company put the profit increase down to higher energy prices and residential consumption due to lockdowns.
O’Shea, who took over the company in March 2020, will be awarded a bonus, although the amount has not been disclosed. The announcement has been met with criticism from consumer groups, who argue that energy companies should not be making large profits during a time of economic hardship for many households. However, Centrica has pointed out that its profits are in line with other large energy companies, such as Shell and BP.
The UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem, has announced that it will begin an investigation into Centrica’s profits, as well as those of other major energy companies. The investigation will look into whether the companies are exploiting consumers, particularly those on lower incomes, by charging high prices. The investigation is expected to last for six months and could lead to price controls being placed on the energy companies.
In response to the investigation, O’Shea has stated that Centrica is committed to a “fair and just transition” to renewable energy and has already announced plans to phase out new oil and gas production by 2025. The company has also committed to investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and clean energy solutions.
In conclusion, the announcement of a bonus for Centrica’s CEO, Chris O’Shea, has been met with criticism from consumer groups, given the economic uncertainty faced by many households. Centrica’s profits have tripled in the first half of 2021, due to higher energy prices and residential consumption during lockdowns. The UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem, has launched an investigation into whether the profits of Centrica and other energy companies are exploitative, particularly for low-income households. Centrica has stated its commitment to a fair and just transition to renewable energy and has already announced plans to phase out new oil and gas production. The investigation is expected to last six months and could result in price controls being placed on energy companies.