The chief executive of energy supplier British Gas has sought to explain the firm's latest results and explain why it is difficult to offer cheap gas and electricity.
Phil Bentley noted that 5p of every £1 earned by the company is profit, with the company's margins falling by a third in 2011.
He explained British Gas only controls around 15 per cent of a consumer's bill, with the rest made up of expenses such as wholesale prices and infrastructure costs.
Mr Bentley also responded to recent calls that have urged the government to force energy providers to give up some of their profits.
He said if British Gas did this, it "would reduce an average bill by just over £4 a month." However, he added: "But then there'd be less money for free insulation and for the help we give our vulnerable and elderly customers."
The executive added the best ways to reduce bills is to cut usage, which is why the firm has installed loft and cavity wall insulation in 400,000 homes, which can save individuals up to £300 per year.
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