Headquarters Windsor, England
Although British Gas was founded in 1986 as a public limited company (plc), its roots date back over 200 years, making it one of the world’s oldest companies. The timeline below illustrates some of the important events in British Gas’s history.
1812 - The Gas Light & Coke Company (GLCC), the first public utilities company in the world is set up.
1947 - The British Coal industry is nationalised.
1948 - The gas industry is nationalised, therefore dividing the nation’s gas activity into 12 regional gas boards. This ends the GLCC.
1968 - The Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI) is formed.
1972 - The gas council is discontinued and replaced with the British Gas Corporation.
1986 - The gas industry is privatised by the Thatcher Government, forming British Gas plc.
- Tell Sid campaign is launched to promote investment in British Gas.
1994 - British Gas re-structured
1997 - British Gas separated into two different companies, ‘Centrica plc’ and ‘British Gas plc’.
1998 - British Gas begins selling electricity to customers.
British Gas continues today to be the sole supply brand for the Centrica conglomerate, allowing a comprehensive energy network through a family of unique companies. British Gas is quite comfortably the most popular energy supplier in the UK, supplying more than 11 million homes, employing over 30,000 people, and making a staggering £10,609m revenue from supply alone in 2015. Perhaps most recognised by their distinctive British Gas vans, their intelligent branding and marketing has made the company one of the most household names of the last 20 years.
It would probably be assumed that because of British Gas’s popularity nationwide, they know how to deal with the problems that may face their customers, and that would not be far from the truth: On the review website ‘Trustpilot’, which is known for being mostly focused around complaints, British Gas scored 6 out of 10 from 1892 reviews, which is extremely impressive. ‘Which?’ also reported a customer service satisfaction rating of 54% from 8902 customer reviewers which from that number of customers is fantastic.
British Gas provide a variety of tariffs for household energy, including 'Standard', 'HomeEnergy Fixed' and 'HomeEnergy Capped'. Fixed tariffs like their 'HomeEnergy Fixed' tariff, use a unit rate from a static date that does not change; however, variable tariffs, like their 'standard', pertain to the volatility of the wholesale energy market. This could allow potential savings if the unit rate goes down in price, although it could also result in much higher bills, if, like it has done frequently in the past, rises in price. As searched on 10th November 2016, the unit price for British Gas’s ‘variable’ tariff in the Sheffield area is 12.29p per kWh of electricity and 3.7p for gas, whereas in Norwich is 12.29p for electricity and 3.7p for gas.