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We will publish updates to our CR programmes throughout the year on this page.

2011 Community investment

3 May 2012

Posted by CR updates

Our Group-wide total community contributions were £67.7 million in 2011, down from £105.3m in 2010.        

Our total community contributions figure comprises investments across the three areas outlined below. We report figures for each to provide clarity on the breakdown of our overall total community spend.

London Benchmarking Group (LBG)

LBG is a best practice community investment methodology. It measures cash, in-kind and volunteering time contributions as well as the costs of managing community programmes. The methodology further breaks down contributions to their motivations: strategic contributions, long-term investments or short-term/one-off donations.

LBG is used by a wide range of FTSE100 companies, many of which report community contributions to LBG annually, enabling companies to benchmark their performance against peers.

In 2011, our LBG community investments were £4.03m down from £22.2m in 2010. The main reason for the change was that the 2010 figure included a £15 million investment to the Solar for Schools fund, which will provide support to schools over the next few years. 

Voluntary contributions

Our voluntary contributions represent investments we make for our customers, through initiatives such as the British Gas vulnerable customer programmes and Direct Energy’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor community programme. 

In 2011, our voluntary contributions totalled £37m, down from £83.1m in 2010. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor scheme, which supports customers in Texas facing financial hardship, invested $431,951 and administered grants of up to $600 per home a year, to help vulnerable customers pay their energy bills. British Gas also invested £36,880,000 through the Essentials tariff for our vulnerable customers in the UK.

The decline in these contributions was primarily due to the introduction of the mandatory vulnerable scheme in the UK called Warm Homes Discount. This scheme introduced the requirement for energy suppliers to spend a combined £250m in 2011/2012 to provide assistance with energy costs for vulnerable customer through England, Scotland and Wales via a one-off rebate payment of £120. 

Mandatory contributions

Our mandatory contributions represent those contributions we must make due to commitments set by government and regulators. Such schemes represent a significant social investment for British Gas and are a core part of our responsibility to customers. Our Centrica Energy business also makes mandatory contributions to local community trusts near our operations as part of maintaining our license to operate.

In 2011, our mandatory contributions were £26.6m.            

We collect community investment data through a dedicated data collection. A network of employees across the company manages the collection of data and inputs into the tool at least half-yearly, The tool has improved both the scope and the accuracy of our reporting.

A breakdown of our total community contributions over the last few years is provided in the table below. You can view a more detailed range of metrics in our data centre.

Total community contributions  





Total community contributions




LBG  contributions




Voluntary contributions




Mandatory contributions





* This figure includes the £15m spend into the Solar for Schools fund in 2010

** This figure is different in the 2009 Annual Report due to a miscalculation in the previous figure

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