Centrica sees 2018 growth from distributed energy and 1m connected homes

Centrica CEO Iain Conn

Centrica has notched up a million connected homes customers, after adding 91,000 ‘smart homes’ to its books in the first four months of this year. Meanwhile, the firm expects to post 50% higher revenues from its distributed energy business versus 2017.

In a trading update, the firm said the UK energy retail market remained tough, with retail arm British Gas shedding 110,000 customers from January to April.

However, the company said its business retail operation was expected to deliver improved full year profit after collapsing in 2017.

Centrica said it was on track to cut both headcount and costs. Like for like staff numbers will fall by around 1,000 over the year, with efficiency savings of £200m anticipated.

Group chief executive, Iain Conn, noted uncertainty around the impact of the government imposed price cap, set to be in place by next winter. But the company believes it can “deliver a sustainable and attractive” UK energy supply business “whatever the outcome”.

The firm said it continues to lobby for small suppliers to be forced to pass on energy policy costs to their customers, which it suggests gives them an unfair advantage.

However, it believes recouping energy policy costs through general taxation, rather than energy bills, would be a more progressive approach to achieving government policy aims.

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