Advertisement
News

BP profits soar to £6.9bn as families are left unable to afford energy bills

Labour is calling on the government to protect people from rising energy bills.

Energy giant BP has reported huge profits of £6.9billion between April and June as families are left facing sky-high bills during a cost of living crisis.

The amount is the second highest in the company’s history. It’s triple the figure made in the same three months last year.

It covers the period directly after the energy price cap increased by 54 per cent – £693 for most households – a record rise. The monthly rise in both gas and electricity prices were by far the largest recorded since 1988.

Citizens Advice revealed last week it has seen a “truly unprecedented number of people who can’t afford to top up their prepayment energy meter”. That means they can’t afford to turn on their fridge or heat their hob. By the end of June, more people had approached Citizens Advice about their energy bills than in each of the past three years. 

BP CEO Bernard Looney said the company has worked to solve an “energy trilemma” and introduce “secure, affordable and lower carbon energy”. He claimed BP is “investing to accelerate the energy transition”.

But Looney also likened BP to a “cash machine” in November – when their profits leapt to $4.1bn. The BP boss’s pay was £4.5m in 2021. He received a £1.3m annual salary and £2.4m in bonuses. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Conservatives – eventually – announced a £5bn windfall tax on energy companies in May after sustained pressure from campaigners. But the government continues to face criticism for giving companies incentives to invest in oil and gas, rather than green alternatives. 

Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss has announced she will not impose further windfall taxes on energy companies if she becomes leader.

Support The Big Issue

Give your local vendor a hand up and buy the magazine

Each of our vendors buy their copies of the mag for £1.50 each, selling them for £3 and keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor.

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said: “People are worried sick about energy prices rising again in the autumn, but yet again we see eye-watering profits for oil and gas producers.

“Labour argued for months for a windfall tax on these companies to help bring bills down, but when the Tories finally u-turned they decided to hand billions of pounds back to producers in tax breaks. That is totally wrong.

 “It’s clear people need greater protection from rising bills. That’s why Labour would use this money now to help people get through the winter. 

“But we can’t carry on like this. Labour would bring down energy bills for good with a green energy sprint for home-grown power, and a 10-year warm homes plan to cut bills for 19 million cold, draughty homes.”

Household energy bills are expected rise to more than £3,600 this winter, according to new research from Consultancy Cornwall Insight. It’s hundreds of pounds more than previous predictions. 

Sharon Graham, head of the Unite union, said on Twitter: “Household energy bills are continuing to rise to a calamitous £3,600 a year. How can this contrast continue time after time? The British economy does not work for workers and their families. Britain’s real crisis isn’t rising prices, it’s an epidemic of unfettered profiteering.”

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
I do-nate: Couple use wedding to raise £1,500 for Big Issue
Big Issue

I do-nate: Couple use wedding to raise £1,500 for Big Issue

Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits
Energy crisis

Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits

'What a load of bull': Martin Lewis rubbishes claims government can't act on energy bills crisis
Energy bills

'What a load of bull': Martin Lewis rubbishes claims government can't act on energy bills crisis

Four reasons why net zero is a solution - not a problem - for the energy crisis
Net zero

Four reasons why net zero is a solution - not a problem - for the energy crisis

Most Popular

Read All
All the places where kids can eat free during the summer holidays
1.

All the places where kids can eat free during the summer holidays

This Twitter bot is exposing celebrities taking three-minute private jet flights
2.

This Twitter bot is exposing celebrities taking three-minute private jet flights

Will free school meals and vouchers be offered over the summer holidays?
3.

Will free school meals and vouchers be offered over the summer holidays?

Estate agents caught saying they don't rent homes to people on benefits
4.

Estate agents caught saying they don't rent homes to people on benefits

Keep up to date with the Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.