News

Hive Active Heating combines a smartphone app with a connected thermostat to let customers control their heating on the go

The hi-tech solution to soaring energy costs bills

New technology will help households slash their gas bills, reports Gary Jones

British Gas profits soar to record high of £742m

Centrica points to even faster growth in US and upstream arms

British Gas reveals record £742m profit

The UK's biggest energy supplier unveiled a record profit haul today just weeks after it hiked bills amid the coldest winter in 100 years.

Centrica in £2bn Qatar gas deal

British Gas parent Centrica today announced a £2 billion deal with Qatar for the supply of enough gas to meet the needs of around 2.5 million UK households.

Simon Read: Dodgy debt advisers will cash in on Coalition cutback of free help

Scrapping the Financial Inclusion Fund from March is one of the Coalition's most disastrous moves in its cutback campaign. People will need debt advice more than ever as the cutbacks bite, but official support will shrink when the money runs out next month.

Questions Of Cash: Refund for wrong gas bill was stuck in the pipeline

Q. I have a problem with British Gas that has been going on for nearly two years. I applied for a dual fuel deal with British Gas. The electricity transferred without a hitch, but when I was billed the charge for the gas used the meter reading from a neighbour's flat. Eventually I gave up trying to switch the gas and stayed with my original supplier, Scottish & Southern. I repeatedly tried to get BG to recognise the situation, but it ignored my phone calls and then I received demands from debt collectors. I referred the matter to the Ombudsman, but the mess continued. BG continued threatening recovery action and the Ombudsman awarded me £40. Eventually in September I was sent a letter admitting I was billed under the wrong meter and I was promised a payment of £208, for the overpayments made on the account, plus the £40 compensation. That cheque has still not arrived. RG, Plymouth.

Record gas emergencies

An "unprecedented" 152,000 gas emergencies were reported over Christmas and New Year, 50 per cent higher than expected due to the cold snap.

Consuming Issues: Go green if you want to spend less this year

Britons are among the worst polluters in the world. The UK was the eighth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in 2007, pumping out 564 million tonnes, 9.3 tonnes per person. Meanwhile, 2011 promises to be a tough year financially, with rises in fuel duty, VAT, energy bills and probably interest rates. Not everyone will find these tips for going green and saving money practical, but you may be able to do one or two of them.

Fears for petrol prices as oil hits two-year high

Hard-pressed UK consumers look set to be hit by further increases in fuel costs in 2011 after the price of crude oil touched its highest level for more than two years on London's futures market yesterday.

Regulator orders pension review of energy firms

Unions angry over investigation into the amount customers are charged to fund workers' retirement

Energy prices 'may rise 25 per cent over 10 years'

Domestic energy prices could rise by as much as a quarter over the coming decade, the "big six" gas and electricity suppliers warned MPs yesterday.

Ofgem to investigate big rise in energy profits

A review has been launched into the prices charged by energy suppliers amid claims they are overcharging households.

Industry watchdog to probe energy giants

Britain's energy giants are to be investigated by the industry watchdog after it emerged that recent price hikes have seen suppliers' profit margins soar by 38%.

Electricity bills go up for 2.5m homes

The energy firm Scottish Power is raising gas and elecricity prices by an average of 2 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively. The new charges, which will affect 2.5 million households, will take effect on 25 November, adding about £54 to the average annual dual-fuel energy bill.

Sport
World Cup 2014
Sport
Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
Sport
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?