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British Gas Boss ‘Impossible to Justify’ Pay Rise

Chris O'Shea names his pay rise as 'unjustified' yet businesses across the country are falling victim to the rising cost of energy bills.

Written By Billy


March 28, 2024

Back in January, in a failed out-of-touch attempt to allow the public to relate to him, Chris O’Shea, boss of Centrica (the company that owns British Gas) claimed that he could not justify his £4.5 million pay package, as he sat reclined in the newsroom of the BBC, his movie-villain moustache, twitching with a seething yet subtle delight.

He sees ‘no point’ in justifying his pay rise though, as one comfortably can when their pay has risen by almost another £4 million, whilst businesses of this country struggle to remain afloat.

Here is a breakdown of this ‘unjustifiable’ pay package:

In 2023, O’Shea was given a £8.2 million pay packet according to the annual report shared this week. This includes:

  • An £810,000 salary
  • Approximately £1.4 million in annual bonuses
  • £5.9 million in longer-term bonuses based on the company’s share price performance.

On this, Chris O’Shea, speaking on his £4.5 million pay the year prior said:

“It’s a huge amount of money, I am incredibly fortunate. I don’t set my own pay, that’s set by our remuneration committee.

That’s the first bonus I’ve taken in my time at Centrica, for a number of years, I’ve given up bonuses because of hardships that customers faced.”

It could just be that Chris O’Shea has a bad sense of timing, but following a lot of apparently sacrificed bonuses, was now really the best time to accept a bonus if prior ones were given up due to customer hardships?

His benefiting comes from the drastic rises in energy prices which have in turn aided Centrica’s growth in shares making it quite difficult to believe his concern for customers who are impacted by these massive hikes in energy bills.

Businesses find it hard to ‘justify’ staying open

In today’s world, sustainability and cost-efficiency are important factors for businesses, and when they can’t afford to keep their doors open, efficient energy sources like solar power, have emerged and become a complete beacon of hope for UK businesses.

Interestingly, the correlation between the closure of hospitality and O’Shea’s pay rise in 2023 is something to place a keen eye on.

Though all businesses are suffering, restaurants saw a damaging year in ’23, with licensed restaurants shrinking by 7.8% over the year.

Italian dining establishment Prezzo revealed plans to shut 46 restaurants as a result of rising energy which put 810 jobs at risk. Overall figures reveal that over 756 venues closed their doors in the first three months of 2023.

Although this was less than the previous year, it still significantly represents the decline in high street business thanks to insane energy price hikes and villainous energy company profiteering.

With this then, ‘justifying’ solar is easy

Solar should be accessible for the many, not the few and here at IEG our goal is to deliver just that. We offer solar products, services, and finance solutions that are aimed towards businesses that are finding it hard.

With solar, you can forget about paying the energy companies for your electricity when you can start being the creator of your own. With our solar systems, you will receive clean and efficient energy that is 100% free.

Additionally, we offer batteries and EV charging to integrate with your solar to create a totally free energy haven, generating unlimited energy for your business and giving you the power to take back control from the energy companies who are endlessly profiteering from the death of business.

Now that is unjustifiable.

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