British Gas has always been in the vanguard of the energy industry. After two centuries of existence, it has now become one of the biggest energy and home services provider in the entire United Kingdom. Currently trading under the names British Gas Services Limited and British Gas New Heating Limited, both are subsidiaries of the multinational company, Centrica PLC, since February of 1997. Today, the business is headed by its Chief Executive Sarwjit Sambhi and is presently included among the prominent “Big 6” companies dominating the energy market.
A significant amount of British Gas’ electricity is produced from renewable sources. To date, it contributes 43% of the total. Its green electricity is generated from various wind and solar farms, hydro plants, and biomass power plants all over the UK. Another source, though due to get phased out soon, is the coal power plants. At the moment, the company has 8 plants remaining and is delivering 7% of the total electricity supply. Along the same line, the operation of nuclear power plants is also expected to gradually cease by half in the year 2025. It is currently sharing the 11% of the British Gas’ fuel mix. Notwithstanding, the combined cycle gas turbine, or otherwise known as CCGT, is a cleaner and more efficient alternative. The natural gas produces heat very effectively thus its yields more electricity despite using lesser amounts of fuel. Furthermore, it is also said to emit 50% lesser carbon dioxide compared to that of coal-fired power plants. The electricity generated from CCGT contributes second to the largest in the total fuel mix, providing 37% to be precise.
On the other hand, the British Gas’ gas supply is extracted from three different places. 43% of the supply is taken from the North Sea and the East Irish Sea. Meanwhile, 44% of the total is pumped from several pipelines in Norway, Russia, and in certain areas of Europe. In addition, the Liquified Natural Gas, or simply called as LNG, is sourced out from various international suppliers. The LNG makes up 13% of the total gas supply of the company.
Apart from energy products, British Gas also offers numerous kinds of home services. It includes boilers and heating, plumbing and drains, appliances and electrical, home insurances, and even services related to landlords or property rentals. The wide range of offerings available ensures to get the British Gas customers well covered and protected from any untoward home incidences all-year-round.
From Aberdeen down far south to Truro, British Gas is providing energy and home care services to as much as one-third of the consumers across all regions of the United Kingdom. With over 12 million households and business establishments currently under its service, the company continues to stand firm and lead the energy industry.
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- Disabled-Friendly Website – The British Gas website also caters to the special concerns of its physically-challenged clients. They incorporated a Video Relay service so that British Sign Language users can better understand the contents in spite of actual hearing difficulties.
- Humanitarianism – In 2004, the British Gas Energy Trust was established to provide grants and debt advice to people in need of extra assistance to keep their homes warm regardless if they are an existing customer of the company or not. Furthermore, the firm partnered with the National Energy Action to look into and act upon the issue of fuel poverty at a local level.
- Range of Services – The firm acts as a one-stop-shop for basic home needs. From energy to insurances and other home improvement services, British Gas seeks to deliver convenience to its consumers.
- Partially Renewable Energy – At present, only 43% of its fuel mix is renewable. The company still own and operate several coal power plants, continue to use hydraulic fracking to extract natural gas and other unsustainable means of generating energy. However, the company is already on its way in transitioning to become a better and eco-friendlier producer.
- Expensive Tariff – Even after the price cap was imposed by Ofgem, the firm’s tariff remains to be on the more expensive side. Considering as well the rise of smaller independent suppliers in the market, cheaper and more competitive deals for renewable energy is now made more available.
- Poor Customer Service – There were a significant amount of online reviews that expressed dismay on the company’s customer service, the phone helpdesk in particular. As reported in the investigation conducted by Which?, it took an average of a least 10 and a half minutes to get through the line with a human representative. On the contrary, its chat support seems to acquire a faster response with only less than a minute of waiting time.
Despite the long years of experience in the business, British Gas’ reputation in the market is still so-so. In its Trustpilot rating, it had garnered an average score of 6.8 out of 10. Most of the consumers neither find its tariff of great value for money nor its customer service at an excellent standard. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that its solid foundation had already established the trust for the brand. Hence, up to this day, it still continues to grow and remarkably remains on top of the energy industry.