Moneysupermarket.com predicts tough times for British Gas
Price comparison site moneysupermarket.com is predicting a difficult period for British Gas after the provider posted its profit results.
Paul Schofield, head of utilities at moneysupermarket.com, said: “British Gas has offered market-leading prices for much of last year which helped the supplier rebuild its customer base following a loss in its market share in 2005 and 2006 and this action has probably helped Centrica post a huge profit of £2.18bn and British Gas a profit of £571m.
“But tougher times may now be ahead for the energy giant, following increases in wholesale gas prices in the second half of 2007. British Gas has already raised its tariffs in 2008 and it may struggle to retain its customer base. E.On currently offers the best prices in 12 out of the 14 regions. Even in Eastern England and the East Midlands, it is Atlantic, rather than British Gas, that now leads the way.
Schofield added that British Gas made a lot of effort to improve its historically poor customer service in 2007 and said it is reassuring that it will be seeking further improvements in service levels in 2008.
He said: “Five out of the six energy giants have announced a combination of price increases and new products over the past six weeks so now is an excellent time for users to review the market and make sure that they have the best provider and product for their area and consumption.
“Online monthly direct debit accounts, are the cheapest products available, merely requiring customers to have an email address and apply online. There is no need for customers to manage the account online as payments are by direct debit.”