British Gas, which supplies 7.8 million customers, shed 9 percent of its domestic customers in 2017.
Around 12 million British households are charged some form of default tariff for their energy, which can cost hundreds of pounds more per year than the cheapest deals on offer. The government is planning to cap the standard variable tariffs.
Centrica’s shares have lost more than half of their value over the past year as politicians have focused on ways to limit the cost of energy to ordinary consumers. Britain’s big energy suppliers have been under pressure from smaller rivals offering cheaper deals in the consumer market.
Mr. Conn told the BBC the job losses resulted in part because of “intense” competition and partly because of customers “moving to digital.” But he also said the probable introduction of a price cap was another reason for the job losses.
“There is a link between our cost efficiency program and preparing for any price cap in the U.K.,” he added. “We’ve got to be competitive and this measure means we’ve got to drive more efficiency.”
Investment in technology and the simplification of core business processes would result in cost savings of 1.25 billion pounds per year by 2020, the firm said. It expects to also create around 1,000 additional roles.
Despite the fall in profits for Centrica Group as a whole, British Gas saw profits rise 3 percent, to £572 million.
The energy supplier also has operations in North America and Ireland.