Centrica: seven years of struggle, only to be caught by Covid, Britain’s biggest energy supplier faces a “lost year” due to the coronavirus outbreak, which threatens to erode demand for gas and electricity and leave many homes and businesses unable to pay their bills. The financial woes which have dogged Centrica for the past seven years – including falling customer numbers and a cap on standard energy bills – are expected to be compounded by the pandemic, which has dramatically reduced the demand for energy and could mean homes and businesses will be slower to pay their bills, if they pay them at all. Centrica has struggled to sell off legacy assets in nuclear power and in the North Sea oilfields. In recent weeks it has unveiled plans to challenge its cut-price competitors by setting up a new digital energy brand, British Gas X, to offer discounted deals on electricity and gas. The online-only spin-off will compete directly with the challengers, which have lured millions of customers away from the company.
Observer 19th July 2020 read more »