Centrica's CEO plans to turn down bonus this year

LONDON Mon Nov 4, 2013 9:39am EST

LONDON (Reuters) - Centrica's (CNA.L) chief executive Sam Laidlaw said he will decline any bonus he is offered this year, in a move which could help the energy supplier avoid further controversy after it raised prices by three times the rate of inflation.

Laidlaw told a panel discussion at a conference in London on Monday that he had "already decided" to forego his annual bonus this year.

Centrica owns British Gas, one of Britain's big six household energy companies, all of which are at the center of a fierce political debate over the cost of living as energy bills soar at a time of low wage growth.

Laidlaw took home a total of 4.96 million pounds ($7.90 million) in 2012, of which over 1 million pounds was related to annual incentive schemes.

The issue of rising energy bills has dominated the political agenda since September when opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to freeze energy bills for 20 months if he wins power in a 2015 election.

Centrica last month announced a 9.2 percent average price rise for its gas and electricity customers, prompting an outcry from consumers and criticism from lawmakers who last week hauled in energy company bosses to explain the rises.

Centrica's remuneration committee is due to make its decision on executive bonuses for 2013 early next year.

(Reporting by William Schomberg; writing by Sarah Young; editing by Keiron Henderson)