February 22, 2018
British Gas' owner, Centrica, has announced they are cutting 4,000 jobs and blamed political meddling in the UK market for its "weak" end to 2017.
Last year British Gas lost 750,000 domestic energy customers. Bringing their total amount of customers down to 7.8 million - roughly 9% down on 2016.
Centrica also operates in North America and Ireland and have said that group's profits dropped 17% to £1.25bn. Despite the fall in profits for Centrica Group as a whole, British Gas, which supplies energy to UK homes and businesses, saw profits rise 3% to £572m.
Centrica said the job losses, which are part of an extended cost-cutting programme, would fall mainly in its UK energy supply business. The energy giant has already scrapped 6,000 roles in a fight to remain profitable in the face of tighter regulation, mounting competition and rising energy costs.
Iain Conn, Centrica's Chief Executive, said plans for a price cap in the UK was one reason for the job losses. Mr Conn also expressed his disagreement with the Government plans to cap prices, arguing it would reduce choice.
"We will clearly be wanting to discuss all the details with the government. We don't agree with it. We hope it doesn't happen because we think that ultimately it will be bad for customers."
Centrica said that the total number of customer accounts at British Gas fell by 1,376,000 (10%) during 2017. As many of its customers have more than one account - for example, many households have dual fuel accounts - this decline amounted to the loss of 750,000 customers.
Posted on February 22, 2018 at 11:42 AM