British Gas

British Gas
British Gas, the largest energy supplier in the country demerged on 17th February 1997 to form two separate companies

  • Centrica Plc
    Who took responsibility of the gas supply business and the gas production business of the North and South Morecambe gas Fields.  Centrica has the rights to the British Gas name inside the UK
  • BG Plc
    Who took responsibility of Transco the gas transportation business and the international exploration and production business, this later demerged into two separate companies BG Group Plc and Lattice Group Plc

From a domestic customer viewpoint you will know them simply as either British Gas or Scottish Gas.

And the good news is that with Energylinx you can compare the prices of all British Gas gas and electricity tariffs:

If you want to carry out a gas and electricity price comparison please click here.

If you only have electricity please click here.

 

Planning for the future
British Gas are the biggest supplier of green power to homes in Great Britain and their  electricity has the lowest CO2 emissions of any major UK energy supplier.

As a responsible energy provider, they are planning for the future in two ways – by investing in renewable energy and by focusing on improving efficiency and helping their customers reduce their carbon footprint.

Looking forward to a greener future
Renewable energy will play an increasingly important part in their future. They are planning to invest over the coming years in green energies - primarily in offshore wind farms that take advantage of significant wind resource around Britain’s coastlines.

If you are a British Gas electricity customer, a proportion of the electricity you receive from them today via the National Grid is associated with green sources, such as wind power. They aim to increase this to more than 10% by 2011, and more than 15% by 2016.

In partnership with Windsave, they are currently piloting household wind turbines, which could enable customers to generate their own supply of electricity.

If you want to carry out a gas and electricity price comparison please click here.

If you only have electricity please click here.

Saving the planet needn’t cost the earth
British Gas are exploring a range of micro-generation technologies that are suitable for domestic customers. These include boilers which can provide hot water and heat for ytheir house and generate electricity.

They are also looking at ever more futuristic cell powered household boilers, which have the potential to further reduce household energy bills and cut CO2 emissions.

British Gas provide gas, not hot air
British Gas are constantly striving to reduce the impact their business has on the environment.

Their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been recognized by the WWF-UK. They are also introducing services such as a paperless billing option that cuts down the production of paper, reducing costs and the impact on the planet.

Their commitment to sustainability is widely recognized with Centrica featuring in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index, the FTSE4Good and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

If you want to carry out a gas and electricity price comparison please click here.

If you only have electricity please click here.

Energy Market
Much of the gas British Gas customers are using now was bought last summer when wholesale prices were at record levels. As we go through winter, British Gas is using up this expensive gas. They are now buying gas at lower rates for delivery for later this year and have passed this reduction onto their customers.

They have to buy gas in advance to ensure that customers are protected from short term price spikes and therefore have some gas in 2009 that was bought at last year's peak prices.

They bought gas last summer to make sure there would be enough for customers this winter. If they hadn't bought what they did when they did they might not have had enough and could have found themselves buying short-term, something that would have been even more expensive for customers. For the same reason, all energy suppliers buy forward in the market.

Last summer wholesale gas prices were at record high levels, almost double the price they were the year before (wholesale prices rose by 90% last year). But they didn't pass the full impact of that increase when they raised prices (they raised their prices by just 35%).
Wholesale prices are not at those record levels any more, but they are still high, in fact they recently rose again because of the cold weather and the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine.

Wholesale prices have come down enough for them to begin lowering prices for customers. In fact, already more than 7.5 million homes are now benefiting from an average 10% gas price reduction It's important to remember that they have other costs that are continuing to rise, for example the cost of transporting and distributing gas has risen: these are costs that are regulated by Ofgem and none of the profits go to Centrica.

Wholesale costs rose significantly in 2008. They protected customers from the worst of these rises and absorbed much of the cost themselves. Wholesale electricity prices have gone up by 42% since 2007, yet, over the same period, they have cut retail prices by 6%. 2008 was an anomalous year as wholesale prices rose 150% whilst their retail prices rose 26%.

According to an Ernst & Young's report earlier this year, £230bn of investment is needed by 2025 to keep the UK's lights on; the UK will face an energy crunch if that investment does not happen.

British Gas are taking serious actions to address these energy issues:

  • They expect to invest more than £15bn to secure new power and gas by 2020, on top of £1.14bn in 2008. This is more than Centrica's (their parent company) entire post-tax profits of £903m for 2008.
  • They have built Europe's largest windfarm off the Lincolnshire coast.
  • They are building the UK's first new gas-fired power station for more than 10 years.
  • They use their profits to fund their investments, and we recently asked their shareholders to invest more too, raising more than £2 billion for investment in the gas storage and nuclear power that the UK will need in the future.

If you want to carry out a gas and electricity price comparison please click here.

If you only have electricity please click here.