The British Gas owner has had a rocky start to 2018 as it continued to shed customers in the first four months of the year.
Demand was helped in February and March as the Beast from the East brought bitterly cold weather to the UK.
A slowdown in customer switching also helped the nation’s biggest energy supplier, which lost 1.3 million energy accounts last year.
Britain’s biggest energy supplier revealed that it had lost 110,000 UK domestic customers amidst “high levels of competitive intensity.”
The company is attempting to reduce costs by £200m this year. A significant chunk of this will come from cutting 1,000 jobs and similar efficiencies. In an update delivered ahead of Centrica’s AGM today, Chief Executive Iain Conn said:
“2018 has begun well and overall financial performance in the year to date has been good, despite high competitive intensity in all our markets.”
He continued: “While the outcome of regulations to impose a temporary cap on all default energy tariffs in the UK remains uncertain, we continue to participate actively in the consultation process. Our focus remains on performance delivery and financial discipline and we remain on track to achieve our 2018 Group targets.”
In April, British Gas announced a 5.5% increase in gas and electricity bills. An increase that will take effect at the end of this month.
It blamed rising wholesale energy costs as well as the cost of meeting emissions targets and introducing smart meters.
Other ‘big six’ energy companies announced similar increases including Npower, EDF and Scottish Power.
Energy UK say that rising prices have encouraged record numbers of customers to switch suppliers. 1.3 million customers switched energy supplier in the first three months of the year.
Switch business energy suppliers
If you are a business energy customer, switching energy suppliers can help you significantly reduce bills – particularly at a time when wholesale costs are increasing.
When switching, it is important that you know your contract inside and out.
Make sure you know how much you are spending and when the contract ends – this puts you in the driving seat when it comes to getting a better deal.
It also helps to pay attention to your meter, so that you can build up a picture of your consumption over time.
Bear in mind that you may be able to speak to your current supplier and try to leverage a better deal while approaching different suppliers.
You can use an energy broker like Utility Helpline or another third party intermediary to try and secure a better deal.
These companies take the hassle out of switching suppliers. They understand the market and speak to dozens of business energy suppliers individually to secure the best tariffs for their customers.
For more information on Utility Helpline’s business energy switching services, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 0800 043 0423.