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History

Centrica was formed in February 1997 following a demerger from British Gas plc.

British Gas mobile app

British Gas customers can now pay their energy bills through an iPhone or any Android smart phone. The new iPhone app follows a release for Android–based smart phone users last December and makes British Gas the UK's first energy supplier to offer the option of making a payment through any smart phone.

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Centrica logo

Centrica has taken the decision not to proceed with the investment option for a 20% interest in the construction of new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point and Sizewell. Following this decision the Group has launched a £500 million share repurchase programme, to return surplus capital to shareholders, which will be conducted over the next 12 months. With pre–development expenditure on the project approaching the agreed £1 billion cap, Centrica's decision not to proceed follows a detailed appraisal of the project.

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Employees at the British Gas Academy in Wales

British Gas has announced plans for 1,000 skilled jobs over the next three years. All the roles will be filled by unemployed young people. The jobs, have been created by a partnership between leading environment charity Global Action Plan, British Gas and Accenture, follows a recent report by the Work Foundation which finds that since the start of the recession, youth unemployment in the UK has risen faster than any other G8 nation. One thousand full–time roles have been created by British Gas, as part of its (Energy Company Obligation) programme, to deliver housing regeneration projects enabling hard–pressed households to become more energy efficient.

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Centrica Energy's York platform

The field, 100% owned by Centrica Energy, will produce around 120 million cubic feet (mmscfd) of gas per day at its peak. Gas will be exported via pipeline to Centrica Storage Ltd's terminal in Easington, East Yorkshire. This represents a successful collaborative partnership between Centrica Energy and Centrica Storage, which will process the gas through the Easington terminal, selling the resulting condensate, and providing logistics and other back up services for the platform.

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Sabine Pass liquefaction plant in Louisiana

Centrica entered into an agreement with Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P, to purchase 91,250,000 mmbtu (89 billion cubic feet) of annual liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes for export from the Sabine Pass liquefaction plant in Louisiana in the US. This is the equivalent of the annual gas demand of around 1.8 million UK homes. The contract is for an initial 20 year period, with the option for a 10 year extension, and the target date for first commercial delivery is September 2018.

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Gas field in Morecambe bay

Gas production began from the Rhyl gas field in Morecambe Bay, helping to secure the future of 400 North West jobs and boost energy security for the UK. The Rhyl field, located 39km off the coast of Barrow, was first discovered in 2009 and is wholly owned and operated by Centrica Energy. Gas from Rhyl will be produced through Centrica Energy's existing North Morecambe platform, then come onshore to its Barrow terminal complex by pipeline for processing. This is the first new field to be brought on stream in the region for ten years and represents an important milestone in extending the life of Centrica's Morecambe Bay operations, taking production well beyond 2020.

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Two employees drilling at Rocky View, Alberta, Canada

Centrica and Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), the international arm and wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum (QP), agreed to acquire jointly a package of producing conventional natural gas and crude oil assets and associated infrastructure located in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin from Suncor Energy for C$1 billion (£650 million). The acquisition is the first investment under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties in December 2011. The assets will be held in a newly established partnership between Centrica (60% share) and QPI (40% share), which will be operated by Centrica. The assets include proven and probable (2P) reserves estimated by the partners at 978 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe) (90% natural gas). They are located principally in South and Central Alberta where they overlap with existing Centrica assets.

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Image of the Impact Report infographic

Oxford Economics, the global economics consultancy, has produced a report that investigates the contribution Centrica makes to the UK economy. It shows Centrica's impact extends right across the UK's nations and regions, well beyond our 69 major operational sites. The report explains how Centrica contributes to the UK economy, especially the labour market and public finances. The report shows the contribution Centrica makes to UK GDP, the number of people who rely on Centrica for their employment and the amount of tax receipts it supports.

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British Gas employees cycling

British Gas employees have been recognised for their fundraising and contribution to their local community, as British Gas won the prestigious 'Business of the Year' award at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards 2013. The win reflects the many ways in which British Gas works closely within the communities it serves, such as the British Gas Energy Trust which offers grants to struggling households to help them pay bills and clear household debts. British Gas has donated a total of £45.8m to date. During 2012, the Trust gave more than £10m in 16,000 grants.

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British Gas employees and apprentices

200 new British Gas apprenticeships were announced at the GMB Congress. The apprentices, will graduate to installing, servicing and repairing energy efficient boilers and central heating systems in homes across the UK. They benefit from two years of training, rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. British Gas has a proud history of training apprentices. It has recruited and trained over 3,300 apprentices in the last ten years and invests around £30,000 for each apprentice it trains. All apprentices complete the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award as part of the programme.

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Coleg Menai logo

The team behind the proposed Rhiannon offshore wind farm has announced their support for Coleg Menai's engineering apprentices in Anglesey and North West Wales. Celtic Array will be investing a total of £85k to support six new apprentices through a three year engineering apprenticeship run by the college's new apprentice employment company Cwmni Prentis Menai.

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Picture of the Shalre rock formations in the UK infographic

Centrica has acquired a 25% interest in the Bowland exploration licence (PEDL165) in Lancashire from Cuadrilla Resources Ltd and AJ Lucas for £40 million. Centrica will also pay exploration and appraisal costs of up to £60 million. The Bowland licence is operated by Cuadrilla, and three exploration wells have been drilled to date. The data obtained from drilling these three wells has confirmed the shale formation thickness and the presence of natural gas. Although initial data suggests that there could be 200 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in place within Cuadrilla's Bowland Shale licence in Lancashire, further drilling will be required to establish whether the discovery is commercial.

Natural gas from shale

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British Gas logo

British Gas has announced plans to simplify tariffs by streamlining its standing charges. British Gas will be aligning its standing charge across payment types and products to help consumers better understand and more easily compare tariffs. They form part of the changes British Gas is making in line with Ofgem's Retail Market Review.

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Direct Energy engineer

Direct Energy, has agreed to acquire the privately–owned Texas–based electricity retailer Bounce Energy for $46 million (£30 million) in cash plus additional working capital. Bounce has more than 80,000 residential customers, predominantly in Texas, and has developed a leading internet–based platform for marketing innovative products to customers and servicing their accounts.

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British Gas employee in factory

British Gas is the first energy supplier to commit to ending auto–rollover contracts, and the company is calling on other suppliers to follow suit.

From June 2014, existing British Gas customers will be offered renewal options that require the customer to make a choice about which tariff to sign up to. Business customers will no longer be sold products that automatically commit them to further fixed–term contracts.

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British Gas employee working on a smart meter

British Gas has installed its millionth smart meter. Homes with smart meters installed by British Gas could save £651 per year on bills and will also benefit from Smart Energy Reports™, offered exclusively by British Gas. The reports give households personalised energy efficiency advice and tell them how much they spend on cooking, heating and using appliances, enabling customers to help keep costs under control. 1,700 Smart Energy Experts are trained to deliver the roll-out which will see all current gas and electricity meters replaced by 2020.

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Thatcham

British Gas will deliver the UK's largest energy saving scheme. Up to 50,000 households and businesses in the North East are set to benefit from an energy efficiency scheme – Warm Up North – worth up to £200m that is aimed at reducing energy bills and tackling fuel poverty. Warm Up North will create an estimated 500 high quality jobs, including the supply chain, apprenticeships, training and skills opportunities and 75 posts to manage delivery of the scheme. Warm Up North is the most advanced example in the UK of a regional response to the Government's Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation initiatives. The Warm Up North partnership includes eight local authorities: Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside and Sunderland and is also supported by the Association of North East Councils (ANEC).

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Direct Energy logo

Direct Energy Business, LLC, has agreed to acquire the New Jersey–based Energy Marketing business of Hess Corporation, for $731 million (£478 million) plus net working capital, estimated at approximately $300 million. The Energy Marketing business is one of the largest B2B energy suppliers in the Eastern US, operating in 18 states. The acquisition builds on Direct Energy's existing capabilities, linking gas supply from producers and other market participants through secured transport and storage capacity to the gas and power customer base.

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Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg at the Lincs opening

Centrica Energy's Lincs offshore wind farm was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on 1 August 2013. The last of the wind farm's 75 wind turbines was connected to the National Grid on Wednesday 24 July, bringing the 270MW project up to full strength for the first time. Lincs is now capable of producing enough clean renewable energy for over 200,000 homes – equivalent to around two thirds of the homes in Lincolnshire. Lincs is a joint venture between Centrica Energy, DONG Energy and Siemens Project Ventures.

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John Bains

John Bains, retired Chief Petrophysicist, died following a distinguished career which saw him discover one of the UK's largest gas fields. John first discovered gas reserves in Morecambe Bay in 1972. However, his work was initially dismissed by the company that owned the drilling rights to the area which had been focusing its search on finding oil rather than gas. British Gas acquired the drilling rights for the region and, thanks to John's tenacity and perseverance, an exploration well was drilled in 1974. Eleven years later gas production started from one of the UK's largest gas fields which, at its peak, met 12% of the UK's gas supply.

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A Direct Energy worker

Direct Energy, acquired the US-based home services business AWHR (America's Water Heater Rentals, LLC) from MWHR, a US-based investment entity, for $30 million (£19 million) in cash plus working capital. AWHR is the largest independent water heater rental business in the US and provides rentals, as well as related repair and maintenance services, to 80,000 residential customers located principally in the US Midwest, Florida and US Northeast.

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SolarCity logo

Direct Energy and SolarCity® (Nasdaq: SCTY) undertook to provide solar electricity directly to businesses. The two companies created a dedicated investment fund capable of financing up to $124 million in solar projects for Direct Energy's commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, which is partially funded with up to $50 million from Direct Energy. While many retail electricity providers ask customers to pay a price premium for a "green energy" option, SolarCity can make it possible for many of Direct Energy's customers to pay less than current rates for clean power. Through the arrangement, eligible Direct Energy C&I customers will be able to utilize solar power with little or no upfront cost, and with installation, insurance, repairs and monitoring service included.

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Smart homes team

British Gas customers benefit from a £600m deal between British Gas and Landis+Gyr who will supply the majority of the 16 million smart meters British Gas will install in its customers' homes. By 2020 smart meters will be rolled out as standard to homes and businesses across the country as part of a Government initiative. Landis+Gyr expects to double its UK workforce as a result and British Gas will recruit Smart Energy Experts to install meters.

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British Gas logo

British Gas and nine North East local authorities join together in a £200m scheme 'Warm Up North' as part of the response to the Government's Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The scheme will create 75 direct job opportunities regionally, as well as creating up to 500 further jobs in the local supply chain. Eligible residents could benefit from free measures installed in their homes making them more efficient and reducing their energy consumption. Measures could include hard to treat cavity wall, solid wall and loft insulation, new 'A-rated' boilers, and boiler repairs.

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Centrica Storage logo

Centrica has taken the decision not to proceed with its new-build gas storage project at Baird in the UK Southern North Sea and to put its project at Caythorpe in East Yorkshire on hold indefinitely. This decision was taken in light of weak economics for storage projects and the announcement by the UK Government on 4 September ruling out intervention in the market to encourage additional gas storage capacity to be built.

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Hive logo

British Gas launched a new brand, Hive, dedicated to internet-enabled technology products and services that give people greater flexibility and control of their energy use. The first product launched, Hive Active Heating™, enables customers to control heating and hot water remotely from a smartphone, tablet, SMS, or via a website. Hive Active Heating™ will help put people in control of their energy use and could save households up to £150 a year by allowing them to only heat their homes and water when they need to.

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Western Canadian Sedimentry Basin

Centrica and Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) complete a C$1 billion agreement with Suncor Energy to acquire a package of producing oil and natural gas assets in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. The assets include proven and probable (2P) reserves estimated by the partners at 978 billion cubic feet equivalent (90% natural gas), with estimated 2013 production of approximately 250 million cubic feet equivalent per day.

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Rick Haythornwaite

Centrica announced that Richard Haythornthwaite has been appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the Company with effect from 1 January 2014. Upon appointment, Mr Haythornthwaite will also become a member and chairman of Centrica's Nominations Committee, and a member of Centrica's Remuneration Committee. Mr Haythornthwaite will join the Board of Centrica as a non-executive director on 14 October 2013. This follows the announcement on 12 June 2013, that Sir Roger Carr will step down as Chairman on or before the AGM in May 2014.

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LNG

Centrica announced it has entered into a 4 ½ year LNG supply agreement with Qatargas for the purchase of up to 3 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The £4.4billion deal builds on Centrica's existing agreement with Qatargas, signed in February 2011, and could provide gas to meet approximately 13% per cent of UK annual residential gas demand, enough to meet the needs of around 3 million households.

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Nissan

British Gas is piloting 28 Nissan e-NV200 vans this winter to determine the future viability of 100% electric vehicle technology as part of its 13,000 home service vans fleet. Run in collaboration with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions and Gateshead College, the pilot will see the four strategic partners working together during this testing period.

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Ignite Primary logo

A new initiative was launched to find ten of the UK's leading social entrepreneurs who are working to tackle energy challenges, and making real, sustainable change in their communities. Established by Ignite Social Enterprise, a social investment fund focused on energy-related businesses and enterprises and backed by Centrica the aim of the Big Energy Idea is to help the social entrepreneurs to grow their ventures.

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Turbine

Centrica has reached an agreement to sell its Race Bank offshore wind farm project to DONG Energy Power (UK) Limited for £50 million. Centrica has taken the project through the planning and Front End Engineering Design phase, DONG Energy will now take forward the project's development. Race Bank is situated 27km off the Norfolk Coast and was consented in 2012. Once fully developed it could meet the equivalent annual electricity demand of more than 450,000 UK homes.

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Computer Control Screen

Direct Energy, has agreed to sell its three Texas gas-fired power stations to Blackstone for $685 million (£420 million) in cash. They are located in Paris, Bastrop, and Mission and have a combined capacity of 1,295MW. As part of the transaction, Direct Energy has entered into a three year call option arrangement for an equivalent amount of capacity with Blackstone. This transaction allows Direct Energy to realise value from the gas-fired fleet, while ensuring stability of price and supply in the Texas power market.

Centrica will return the proceeds from this sale to shareholders through a £420 million extension of its share repurchase programme, which will be conducted over the course of 2014.

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Share history

Centrica plc was formed on 17 February 1997 following a demerger from British Gas plc.