British Gas profits down 11% as customers leave UK's largest supplier
400,000 customers leave UK's largest supplier
Big 6 energy giant British Gas, has announced that over 400,000 customers left them in 2016 as domestic energy operating profits fell by 11%.
British Gas who are the UK’s largest supplier of gas and electricity, said that the loss of customers amounts to approximately 3% of customer accounts, but was only partly to blame for the drop in profits.
Chief Executive of Centrica, Iain Conn commented: "The big message is that it's very competitive out there actually. We have seen increased metering costs and other costs coming through. We lost customers in the first half of last year. We are seeing pressure on our margins because there are 50 suppliers out there."
Mark Todd, founder of switching service, energyhelpline, made the following comments:
“The customer exodus from British Gas continues. British Gas may have frozen their standard prices till August and have the cheapest big supplier standard tariff right now. But having the cheapest standard tariff in the Big Six is like winning a race at the Snail Olympics. It's not all that. British Gas Standard customers can currently save £210 a year in a few minutes by switching and that's why the results out today show British Gas lost another 400,000 accounts (3% of their base) last year."
“Customers have a choice - stay on standard energy tariffs and overpay or ditch and switch to a cheaper alternative. As energy is just a commodity it makes no sense to overpay.”
“UK consumers are slowly waking up and every year fewer are willing to pay big suppliers for over-priced energy. The Big Six market share has dropped by around 10 million accounts in the last 5 years from close to 100% to around 80%. With 50 suppliers now on the market, and smaller suppliers often offering cheaper rates and better service, switching is a no brainer if you want a cheaper deal and a warmer home.”