The owner of British Gas faces a consumer backlash amid reports it is about to announce a 15 per cent increase in profits, taking the figure to some £2.8billion.
Figures to be announced by Centrica on Wednesday point to a profits bonanza on the back of spiralling bills for struggling customers.
The profits at British Gas, which put up prices by six per cent in the teeth of the winter chill, are predicted to be up by some 10 per cent to around £580million for 2012.
The company is also under fire over payments to the departing British Gas boss, Phil Bentley, who is predicted to walk away with a package of pay, shares and a pension pot together worth more than £10million.
Centrica has tried to pre-empt the furore by publishing a study boasting about its beneficial effects on the wider UK economy in terms of employment, investment and the tax it pays.