Serving 12 million homes around the UK, British Gas is the nation’s largest provider of gas and electricity.
Owned by Centrica – and trading in Scotland under the name Scottish Gas – the company generally competes with the likes of E.ON, RWE Npower and EDF Energy for customers. However, many would argue that British Gas has a historic advantage over its rivals, having been state-owned before the Thatcher government privatised the industry in 1986 – and, thus, having far greater brand appreciation than the other leading players in the market.
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Given the historic ties to the people of Great Britain, it can be no surprise that the company has consistently been shown to be one of the most trusted and well liked in the UK. This family-friendly image endures despite owners Centrica – who have their headquarters in Windsor, Berkshire – being the 26th largest listed on the London Stock Exchange, with an estimated value of £15 billion.
However, in recent times British Gas and the energy industry as a whole have seen their trust among the public decrease as many businesses announce record profits, while also increasing gas and electricity prices – rises that effect the most vulnerable in society. The elderly are hit particularly hard by these increases, with a growing percentage of household income having to be spent on heating throughout the cold winter months.
In addition to being the country’s largest energy provider, British Gas also provide cover for boilers, pipes and drains through their HomeCare brand. Like all modern energy companies, they have also tried to make inroads on renewable and greener energy sources, both as a means of cutting down carbon emissions and as a potential route as decreasing the financial burden placed upon bill payers.