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‘Expensive’ British Gas gets customers hot under the collar

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19/05/2006

British Gas (BG) owner Centrica has admitted that the utility company has lost 350,000 customers since the start of last year, making a total of 1.5 million people who have deserted it since 2004.

Many observers are attributing the losses to the 22% price increases levied by BG in February, a move that coincided with an 11% rise in annual profits.

However, Centrica defended the situation by claiming that its base costs were going up steeply and that it has to cover itself financially.

“Here we are again with a utility company that is trying to justify what seems a totally unjustifiable position,” said energy analyst Brian Halls.

“Of course, BG’s costs have risen, but consumers don’t see the logic of steep price increases from a very profitable operation.

“Don’t let’s forget, however, that BG still has 17 million customers, although I reckon it cannot afford to keep losing them at the current rate.”

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