Centrica boss will forego bonus
The head of British Gas owner Centrica has decided not to take his bonus this year amid continuing anger about soaring household bills, he has revealed.
Chief executive Sam Laidlaw said trust in the energy sector is at an "all time low", with an urgent need to rebuild it with consumers.
Speaking at the CBI annual conference in London on the topic, Business Trust Under the Spotlight, Mr Laidlaw, said he had decided not to take his bonus.
There was a need for leadership in the current environment, he said, adding it had to be balanced with being able to attract employees.
"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."
Mr Laidlaw repeated the industry's pledge to cut bills if the Government switches environment and social costs to other forms of taxation.
Mr Laidlaw, said the energy industry was "in the eye of the storm", conceding that firms should be more transparent, explain how bills are made up and improve the process of switching suppliers.
Mr Laidlaw said he was focused on helping customers struggling to pay bills this winter.
More than half a million British Gas customers will receive a special discount of £60 this winter, on top of a £135 warm home discount, he said.
Mr Laidlaw said his company had reduced its costs by £300 million over the past few years, and would immediately pass on any reductions in the social and environmental part of energy bills.
"We are listening - we get it, absolutely. We know there is a problem."
Mr Laidlaw said there was no scope for switching profits from one part of the business to another.