Customers increasingly unhappy with British Gas as Centrica profits rise
August 12th, 2022, Christien Pheby

Customers increasingly unhappy with British Gas as Centrica profits rise

British Gas owner Centrica recently announced operating profits of £1.3bn – a sum that allowed the company to reinstate shareholder dividends. It’s news that comes at a time when six in ten Britons have said they will need to cut their other spending to fund their rising energy bills.

And data from YouGov BrandIndex shows that, if British Gas may be benefiting from the increased energy cap and higher bills, the cost-of-living crisis has also given the firm something of an image problem among both its customers and the general public.

Among the former, Index scores (a measure of overall brand health) saw a sixteen-point drop between January 1 – August 1 2022, falling from 17.9 to 1.9. And the wider nation is less keen on the brand too, with scores plummeting from a neutral 0.0 to -9.3 (-9.3).

Impression for the brand (which measures overall sentiment) has declined among current customers, with scores falling from 23.4 to 10.5 (-12.9) – but where the general public are concerned, they have gone from slightly (-0.7) to firmly (-10.1) negative, with a deterioration of 9.4 points.

The beginning of 2022 was also a better time for British Gas’ Reputation score: the metric, which tracks whether consumers would be proud or embarrassed to work for a brand, went from resoundingly positive (16.4) to neutral (0.2) among current customers (-16.2) and – with a decrease of 10.6 points – from reasonably positive (4.8) to negative (-5.8) among the public.

And while British Gas was already considered poor value for money by its customers, perceptions have grown worse over the year so far. The cost-of-living crisis has seen the metric measuring bang for buck fall from -3.0 to -22.6 (-19.6) for these customers; for the public, it has fallen from -12.4 to -25.2 (-12.8).

With Recommend scores plummeting from 16.8 to 4.2 for those who get their energy from British Gas (-12.6) and from -1.8 to -10.1 for the public (-8.3), people are less likely to advocate for the brand than they were before.

Given the above, it is perhaps unsurprising news that overall satisfaction scores among British Gas customers have crashed from 31.9 to 10.2; a collapse of 21.7 points.


YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. British Gas's scores are based on a 4-week moving average.

Learn more about BrandIndex.

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