Centrica plc

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Centrica-2008.svg

Centrica is a multinational utility company, headquartered in Windsor, Berkshire. Its principal activity is the supply of electricity and gas to businesses and consumers in the UK, Ireland and North America.

It is the largest supplier of gas to domestic customers in the UK, and one of the largest suppliers of electricity, operating under the trading names Scottish Gas in Scotland and British Gas in England and Wales. It owns Bord Gáis Energy in Ireland. It is also active in the exploration and production of natural gas; electricity generation; and the provision of household services including plumbing.

Corporate Political Engagement Rating:[1] Transparency International    B  

Business Operations

  • Centrica Consumer
    • UK Home: British Gas supplies gas, electricity and services to residential and business customers. Installation, repair and maintenance of domestic central heating, plumbing and drains, gas appliances and kitchen appliances, including the provision of fixed-fee maintenance/breakdown service and insurance contracts. Overview, BritishGas.co.uk
    • Ireland: Bord Gáis Energy
      Bord-Gais-Energy.svg
      supplies gas, electricity and energy management solutions to residential, commercial and industrial customers; power generation; repair and maintenance of domestic central heating.Overview BordgaisEnergy.ie
    • Direct-Energy-2011.svg
      North America Home supplies gas and electricity to residential customers via Direct Energy; installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment; the provision of breakdown services. Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest retailers of electricity, natural gas, and home and business energy-related services. Overview, DirectEnergy.com
    • Connected Home: supply of new technologies and energy efficiency solutions to residential customers. Brings together AlertMe, Hive, etc.Overview,Overview
      • Hive.svg
        Hive, energy efficiency and optimisation. Provides smart home technologies including a smart thermostat that allows customers to control heating and hot water in their homes via the company's website or app.Overview HiveHome.com
    • Local-Heroes.svg
      Local Heroes is an online home services company working with local tradespeople in a variety of trades including plumbing, electricians and heating engineers.Overview LocalHeroes.com
  • Centrica Business
    • UK Business: supply of gas and electricity and provision of energy-related services to business customers.
    • North America Business: supply of gas, electricity and energy-related services to business customer; procurement, trading and optimisation of energy.
    • Distributed Energy & Power: supply of energy efficiency solutions, flexible generation and new technologies to commercial and industrial customers.
    • Energy Marketing & Trading: Neas Energy A/S, headquartered in Denmark, operates in the UK and European energy markets, trading in energy produced both inside and outside the business, providing hedging and optimisation strategies as well as a route to market for customers with decentralised generation assets.Overview NeasEnergy.com
    • Central Power Generation holds a 20% interest in 8 nuclear power stations in the UK.Overview Power generation from combined cycle gas turbines and nuclear power plants in the UK. EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd: Centrica holds a 20% investment in Lake Acquisitions Ltd which indirectly owns 100% of EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd. Centrica KL Ltd, Centrica PB Ltd, Centrica KPS Ltd, Centrica Barry Ltd, ...
  • Other
    • Exploration & Production: production and processing of gas and oil, and the development of new fields to maintain reserves. Spirit-Energy.com
    • Centrica-Storage.svg
      Centrica Storage was the UK's largest gas storage company, operating the Rough facility until 2017. The Rough facility is now a production asset, the storage function having been discontinued for safety reasons.
    • Dyno.svg
      Dyno is a provider of plumbing and drains and formerly of lock, fire and burglar alarms, and glazing services.Overview Dyno.com
    • REStore.svg
      REstore, a Belgian demand response aggregator, manages peak electricity load from industrial and commercial customers across Belgium, Britain, France and Germany.[2]
    • British Gas Insurance Ltd underwrites general insurance risks in the UK; the HomeCare range covers the breakdown of domestic boilers and central heating systems, as well as options to cover plumbing & drains, home electrics and appliances.[3] OpenCorporates-sm.svg
Additional Sources: Snapshot 2018, About Us, Our Brands

Company

Shareholders

Total float: 99.6%
Source: MarketScreener.svg, Mar.2020 ; Analysis of shareholders. Centrica, Dec.31.2018.

Structure

ToDo: Bring the structure info from British Gas into here. Also see 2017 a/cs re subsids, p.181.

Timelines

Centrica

  • Jul.2020:
    Direct-Energy-2011.svgDeals-Arrow-Right.svg
    Direct Energy was sold to USA energy company NRG Energy Inc to shore up Centrica's battered balance sheet. The sale marked the end of Centrica's international expansion plans.[4] NRG's strategy shift into retail operations came after private equity firms Elliott Management Corporation and C John Wilder's Bluescape Energy Partners LLP[1] pressed it to cut costs in 2017 and streamline operations amid sagging profit and stagnant demand for electricity.[5] DirectEnergy.com
  • May.2020: British Gas Evolve, a new energy brand offering a low cost, digital and 'hassle free' supply to residential customers. The intial rollout was restricted, and only offered through comparison website, Go Compare.[6]
  • Mar.2014:
    Bord-Gais-Energy.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Bord Gáis Energy Ltd, a vertically-integrated Irish energy business, was acquired from Irish state-owned energy company Bord Gáis Éireann, by Centrica plc, together with Canada's Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP and iCON Infrastructure Partners II LP. Centrica acquired BGE’s gas and electricity supply business in Ireland and the Whitegate gas-fired power station. iCON Infrastructure Partners II LP acquired BGE’s firmus energy supply and regulated gas distribution assets in Northern Ireland, and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP acquired BGE’s renewable generation assets.[7][8]
  • Dec.2010: JK Environmental Services (UK) Ltd, a Hertfordshire-based company providing environmental services, sewer cleansing and tankering to the business market, was acquired.[9]
  • Aug.2009:
    Venture-Production.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Venture Production plc, a British-based oil and gas exploration and production business with activities focused on the North Sea, was acquired via a hostile takeover.[10][11] Venture ProductionWikipedia-W.svg, VPC.co.ukArchive-org-sm.svg
  • 2008: Rebrand: Centrica treated itself to a new logo.
    Centrica-2008.svg
  • Oct.2004: Dyno-Rod, a UK-based on-demand drain maintenance specialist, was acquired, together with its related businesses. Dyno-Rod will add to British Gas’ portfolio of home services. Dyno-Rod has 89 drains franchises, 13 plumbing franchises, and 60 locks franchises, as a mobile emergency locksmith service.[12]
  • May.2002:
    Enbridge-Services.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Enbridge Services Inc, the retail energy arm of Enbridge Inc,[13] was acquired.[14] The acquisition doubled Centrica's Canadian customer base.[15] Enbridge Services IncArchive-org-sm.svg
  • Nov.2000: Avalanche Energy Ltd, a privately-held Canadian gas and oil production startup established in 1997, was acquired from its founders to provide additional reserves to support gas supplies to Direct Energy’s growing customer base in Canada.[16]
  • Aug.2000:
    Direct-Energy-pre-2002.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Direct Energy Marketing Ltd, the largest unregulated retail gas and electricity provider in Canada, formerly called Optus Natural Gas Distribution Income Fund,[17] based in Houston, Texas, was acquired, along with Direct Energy's primary marketing agent, Natural Gas Wholesalers, a provider of marketing and call centre services to Direct Energy and Energy America customers.[18][19]
    Energy-America.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    The transaction also included a 27.5% interest in Republic Power LP, dba Energy America LLCArchive-org-sm.svg, a joint venture with Sempra Energy, which sold energy in the deregulating USA markets and was the largest unregulated energy wholesaler in North America. Centrica gained full ownership of Energy America LLC in Dec.2000.[20][21] DirectEnergy.comArchive-org-sm.svg, Energy America LLCArchive-org-sm.svg
  • Jul.1999:
    British-Gas-Energy-Centre.png
    British Gas Energy Centres: Centrica closed down all 243 branches.
  • ToDo: 1997-
  • 1998: Monopoly: Centrica's supplier monopoly for gas came to an end.
  • Feb.1997: British Gas plc split, forming three separate companies:
    • Centrica plc:
      Centrica-1997.svg
      gas sales and gas trading, services and retail businesses, together with the gas production operations in the North and South Morecambe gas fields.[2],[3]
    • BG plc: the exploration and extraction of natural gas and oil and the production of liquefied natural gas.
    • Transco plc: owned and operated the gas transmission network, called the National Transmission System.

British Gas plc

  • 1996: Gas Supply Competition: in preparation for the opening of the gas supply markets to competition, British Gas plc went through a major restructuring which separated the company into five divisions:
    • Public Gas Supply: domestic gas supply;
    • Contract Trading: business supply;
    • Transportation and Storage: later named Transco;
    • Service and Installation: later named Services;
    • Retail: later named Energy Centres.
      British-Gas-Energy-Centre.png
  • 1986: British Gas plc: the company was sold to private investors, and started trading on the London Stock Market.[4]

British Gas Corporation

  • Dec.1986: Privatisation: the gas industry was privatised; British Gas Corporation's assets were transferred to a new company, British Gas plc. OfGas, the Office of Gas Supply, was also created to protect customer needs. Gas Act 1986
  • ?date?: North Thames Gas was restructured into eleven Districts.[5]
  • Jan.1972: British Gas Corporation: the new authority commenced business.
  • Dec.1972: The Gas Act 1972 merged all the area boards, creating a single statutory authority, the British Gas Corporation, and abolishing the Gas Council. The new corporation was responsible for development and maintenance of the gas supply, and for ensuring the demand for gas was met. The North Thames Gas Board ceased to exist, becoming a region of the British Gas Corporation.[6]

North Thames Gas Board

  • May.1949: North Thames Gas Board: ownership of the Gas Light & Coke Company was transferred to a new govt agency,[7] taking over twelve local authority and privately-owned gas production and supply utilities.

Gas Light & Coke Company

  • May.1949: Nationalisation: the GLCC was nationalised under the Gas Act 1948, becoming the major part of the new North Thames Gas Board, one of twelve regional area gas boards.[8],[9]
  • Apr.1812: Gas Light & Coke Company, founded by Frederick Albert WinsorWikipedia-W.svg,[10] was incorporated by Royal Charter under the seal of King George III.[11]

Articles

  • Nov.22.2018: British Gas unable to mask customers' rush for the exit. Owner Centrica’s shrunken share price shows its investors are losing faith. Centrica is making progress, apparently; British Gas customers are fleeing at a rate of only 93,000 a month this year, as opposed to the 100,000-plus that were deserting on average every month during 2017. ... weaker than expected production from the gas fields and “outages” at the Hunterston B and Dungeness C nuclear power stations, where Centrica has exposure via its 20% stake in British Energy. Nils Pratley, The Guardian.
  • Sept.03.2018: Centrica deal strengthens Hurricane Energy. Centrica’s North Sea venture has struck a $387 million deal to join Hurricane Energy in its efforts to extract oil from a new geological frontier beneath the seas west of Shetland. Spirit Energy’s deal is the latest in a wave of activity in the North Sea that has been prompted by a rebound in oil prices. The deal is significant because Spirit is the first company to form a partnership with Hurricane in seeking to exploit oil from “fractured basements” that lie beneath conventional oil reservoirs, which could open up a potentially significant new resource for the oil industry. Spirit is 69% controlled by Centrica, the owner of British Gas. Emily Gordon, The Times.
  • May.15.2018: Investors turn up heat on Centrica chiefs. Management at Centrica came under fire at the company’s annual meeting yesterday as frustrated shareholders demanded answers about the collapse of the #British Gas owner’s share price. Fears over the impact of the govt’s price cap on energy bills and problems in the group’s North American business contributed to a 41% drop in Centrica’s shares last year. British Gas supplies 7.8 million households in the UK, as well as providing energy to businesses and offering home services such as boiler repair. Centrica also supplies households and businesses in North America. Centrica’s directors said that they had made the “tough” decision to withhold Mr Conn’s annual bonus. Mr Conn’s pay package was cut to £1.7m in 2017, from £4m the previous year, after the pay committee withheld his £600,000 annual bonus. He also had benefited from other perks in 2016. Gurpreet Narwan, The Times.
  • Apr.22.2018: Centrica’s battle to save its sacred divi. Chief executive Iain Conn has a plan to ensure the sacred divi remains... He has been shifting Centrica from centralised power plants towards distributed generation, such as local gas turbines, and hi-tech services in the home. Moving into boiler maintenance packages and smart meters should embed Centrica within households, he reckons, preparing it for the wave of change hitting the power industry. John Collingridge, The Times.
  • Feb.23.2018: Nuclear stake will go if the right buyer can be found. Centrica intends to sell its 20% stake in Britain’s nuclear power plants by 2020 and could return some of the proceeds to shareholders. The British Gas owner is a junior partner to EDF Energy, the French group that operates Britain’s eight nuclear reactors. Centrica pulled out of plans to build a nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in 2013 and has sold most of its other big power plant assets since 2015 under a strategy to focus on selling energy and services to households and businesses. Theresa May stalled approval for the new Hinkley Point nuclear plant in 2016 amid concerns about Chinese involvement. Emily Gosden, The Times.
  • Feb.23.2018: Centrica job cuts "are driven by price cap". Centrica has blamed the govt's looming energy price cap after announcing 4,000 job cuts despite bumper profit margins at #British Gas. Britain's biggest energy supplier also revealed plans to persuade more than a million of its customers to switch to fixed tariffs that will not be covered by the cap, potentially locking them into paying higher prices. The govt is legislating to cap all standard tariffs, cutting bills and squeezing suppliers' profits, after competition authorities found that customers were paying hundreds of pounds a year too much for their energy. Unite trade union accused him of prioritising "dividends for shareholders at the expense of workers' jobs". Centrica’s consumer chief Mark Hodges, said that profit margins for its fixed tariffs were now similar to those for its standard tariffs, and the plan should reduce the potential impact of the cap. Edward Molyneux of LookAfterMyBills.com (LAMB), a utility switching service, said: "This is a clever trick by British Gas: make customers lock in their prices for a year on the pretext it's a good deal and then prevent their customers from benefiting from the price cap". Emily Gosden, The Times.
  • Jul.12.2017: Centrica Sells Two CCGT Power Plants To EPUK For £318m. UK-based Centrica has agreed to sell two of its combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power stations, Langage and South Humber Bank, to EP UK Investments (EPUK) for £318m. Tags: Smart meters, Brigg, Peterborough, Cumbria. Global Power Journal.
  • Dec.2016: Centrica has donated to US climate change-denying thinktank. Company owned by Centrica gave $20,000 to TPPF, praised by new US energy secretary for opposing ‘hysteria of global warming’. British Gas’s parent company, Centrica, has given $tens of thousands to a US thinktank that denies climate change and is backed by Donald Trump’s energy secretary. Direct Energy, a US energy company wholly owned by Centrica, donated $20,000 to the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) in 2010 Adam Vaughan, The Guardian.

References

  1. ^ Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018. The new index of 104 multi-national companies, many of whom regularly meet with govt, has found nearly 75% are failing to adequately disclose how they engage with politicians. Only one company received the highest grade, with the average grade being "E" – representing poor standards in transparency. Transparency International UK, Nov.2018.
  2. ^ Centrica buys Belgian power cutting firm REstore. Nina Chestney, Reuters, Nov.03.2017.
  3. ^ British Gas Insurance Ltd: Solvency and Financial Condition Report. Centrica plc, Dec.31.2019.
  4. ^ British Gas owner Centrica sells US supplier Direct Energy as earnings fall. Sale helps to shore up battered balance sheet and ends international expansion plans. Gillian Ambrose, The Guardian, Jul.24.2020.
  5. ^ NRG Cements Push Into Retail Market With Direct Energy Purchase. Deal is part of NRG’s ongoing strategy to expand retail sales. Gerson Freitas Jr, Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg, Jul.24.2020.
  6. ^ Centrica launches new energy brand British Gas Evolve: What is it and will it compete against its own big six giant? Grace Gausden, This is Money, Oct.05.2020.
  7. ^ Centrica buys Irish gas supplier and sells UK wind project. Emily Gosden, The Telegraph, Dec.12.2013. Original archived on Dec.13.2013.
  8. ^ Centrica acquires Bord Gáis Energy’s gas and power business. Press Release, Centrica plc, Mar.25.2014. Original archived on Nov.21.2017.
  9. ^ British Gas acquires leading environmental services business. Centrica plc, Dec.05.2010.
  10. ^ Venture offer - Centrica achieves 58.7 per cent level. Press Release, Centrica plc, Aug.24.2009. Original archived on Aug.28.2009.
  11. ^ Venture offer - Application for delisting and cancellation of trading of Shares. Press Release, Centrica plc, Sept.03.2009. Original archived on Sept.11.2009.
  12. ^ Centrica acquires Dyno-Rod. Centrica plc, Oct.01.2004.
  13. ^ Business Segments: Energy Services. Enbridge Inc. Original archived on Dec.12.2000.
  14. ^ Enbridge Completes Sale of Retail Energy Services Business for $1 Billion. Press Release, Enbridge Inc, May.07.2002. Original archived on Oct.14.2002.
  15. ^ Centrica North America completes acquisition of Enbridge Services Inc. Press Release, Direct Energy, May.07.2002. Original archived on Oct.23.2002.
  16. ^ British firm buys Calgary's Avalanche Energy Terry Weber, Glob and Mail, Nov.02.2000.
  17. ^ Direct Energy. Direct Energy. Original archived on Mar.02.2000.
  18. ^ Centrica's acquisition. Direct Energy Marketing Ltd. Original archived on Oct.23.2002.
  19. ^ About Direct Energy's History. Direct Energy Marketing Ltd. Original archived on Oct.23.2002.
  20. ^ Centrica Completes Acquisition of Energy America. Natural Gas Intelligence, Dec.13.2000. Original archived on Jul.25.2020.
  21. ^ Industry Briefs. Natural Gas Intelligence, Dec.18.2000. Original archived on Jul.25.2020.