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Centrica Group – news

25 January 2013

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Centrica Energy - Winning new licences in Norway

Centrica Energy's Upstream business has won nine exploration blocks on the Norwegian continental shelf in the latest round of licences announced by Norway's Energy Ministry.

Eight of the areas are in the North Sea, where the business will be operator of the Etta and Percy fields that sit close to its existing Butch prospect.

In a joint statement, Dag Omre, Norway Operations Director, and Iain Bartholomew, Global Exploration and Subsurface Director, said: “The awards give a further boost to our growing activity in Norway.

“Exploration is a central part of our growth ambition and these wins are a step towards further increasing our subsurface activity.”

In the number of licences awarded, Centrica Energy ranked third after Statoil and Spring Energy.

Last year, the business won 13 new blocks from the UK Government in areas of the North Sea. This included three part-blocks in the West of Shetland that will see it entering the area for the first time.

Centrica Energy - North Sea jobs boost

Figures released by a leading recruitment company show that up to 50,000 new jobs could be created in the North Sea oil and gas industry this year.

The report by suggests that the recent licensing round, in which the Government issued 167 new exploration permits for 330 blocks in the region, will create a rush for new roles.

Centrica Energy's Upstream business (CEU) recruited more than 210 people last year as part of a wider wave of activity to attract new talent.

It comes at a time when the business is expecting first gas from its York field in the coming months, is developing Cygnus, the largest gas discovery in the Southern North Sea for 25 years and will also enter the West of Shetland basin for the first time, after being awarded three blocks there in the recent licensing round.

Jessica Parker, Recruitment Advisor at CEU, said: “We operate in such a competitive market, particularly in Aberdeen, attracting the right people, for what can sometimes be very specialised disciplines, such as those with subsurface or wells experience, can be very challenging.

“However, we’re in a strong position as we’re one of the few businesses committed to investing in the North Sea while others are cutting back and taking their operations abroad.”

The number of new starters in our Norwegian operation has also jumped thanks to a similar campaign that’s been running there.

British Gas climbs in latest satisfaction survey

Results from a recent survey by consumer magazine Which? show British Gas customer satisfaction levels up 3% from last year.

The business ranked joint 11th, alongside First Utility and Scottish Power, with an overall customer satisfaction score of 50%.

Sainsbury’s Energy, a partnership between Sainsbury’s and British Gas, took eighth place with 54%.

Which? asked 10,000 people about the experience they have with their energy provider, rating them on customer service, value for money, accuracy and clarity of bills, complaints, and how their supplier helps them save energy.

Bert Pijls, British Gas’ Managing Director of Customer Service and Commercial, said: “We are pleased to see our satisfaction score has risen this year.

“We believe this reflects a range of improvements we’ve made over the past 12 months, including: simplified tariffs, clearer bills and free tariff checkers to help our customers ensure they’re on the best deal for them.

“We will look closely at the results of this latest Which? satisfaction survey to see how we can improve things further for our customers.”

British Gas - Cash back for Green Deal takers

Those signing up to the Green Deal, which allows homes and businesses to make energy efficiency improvements and pay for them through the expected savings on their energy bills, could see more than £1,000 returned to them depending on what options they choose.

For example, by having floor insulation and draught proofing installed, £150 and £50 could be claimed back for each of them. The current rates are set for the first £40 million claimed, after which it’s expected that the amounts will drop.

At the same time, British Gas launched an offer for customers purchasing one of its boilers under the scheme.

Currently, up to £270 can be claimed back when upgrading to a new condensing gas boiler. However, British Gas is also offering a further £400* off the price of one of these boilers, boosting the potential saving to £670.

Claire Williams, Managing Director of British Gas New Energy, said: “Green Deal is a very exciting shift in the way we can serve our customers.

“We now offer a complete end-to-end suite of energy efficient products and services in one home visit. Our customers can trust us to ensure that their homes are as energy efficient as possible, and we’re delighted to be in such a strong position to help reduce carbon emissions and lower energy consumption in UK homes.

“This puts British Gas in a unique position in the market and we firmly believe that 2013 will see us established as leaders in energy efficiency.”

Learn more about the Green Deal and cash back scheme

* Offer closes 28th February 2013. Discount will be applied at point of sale and is subject to boiler installation. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other British Gas boiler offer.

Direct Energy has an affinity with Sears

Direct Energy has signed a deal with Sears that will see it selling its residential products to millions of the shopping chain’s customers across the United States.

Known as an ‘affinity partnership’, the business will also offer special promotions through Sears’ ‘Shop Your Way’ reward programme, where customers get points for every $1 they spend for use on future purchases.

As part of the agreement, certain Direct Energy customers will be offered discount coupons to use at Sears stores across the country.

Sears is the United States’ leading home appliance retailer and also owns the Kmart and Land’s End brands.


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