British Gas owner Centrica said its residential profits rose 80 per cent in the first half of the year due to last year’s price hikes and a colder than average winter.
The energy giant reported operating profits of £299 million for the six months to June 30, up from £166 million in the same period last year.
It said lower consumption per customer during the period was “more than offset” by the effect of the increase in prices in 2008.
British Gas made a ten per cent reduction in the standard gas tariff from February and a similar cut in electricity prices in May.
But the firm said it benefited from higher than expected demand during the chilly weather in January and February.
Profits for the whole Centrica business were down five per cent to £936 million.
British Gas also benefited from lower wholesale costs in the period.
The firm said this had allowed it to drop the price of energy for residential customers, which had in turn enabled it to improve competitiveness.
British Gas Residential had just over 15.5 million customer accounts at the end of June, compared to the 15.6 million it reported for the end of December. Revenues for the period were up 15 per cent to £4.38 billion.
Centrica chairman Roger Carr said: “The economic environment is showing little sign of rapid improvement.
“The resultant drop in wholesale gas prices does benefit British Gas and its energy customers, but obviously has a negative impact upstream.”