Centrica enters North American home services market

Centrica plc today announced that it has assumed full ownership of GreenSource Limited, a company providing access to a network of private gas servicing and installation contracting firms in Ontario. The transaction offers an opportunity for Centrica to begin to replicate its UK model in Ontario, launching home services in support of its energy business.

Centrica, which acquired a 30 per cent stake in GreenSource Ltd as part of its acquisition of Direct Energy Marketing Limited (DEML) last year, has acquired the remaining 70 per cent for a total consideration, including conditional payments, of C$780,000.

The transaction offers Centrica an opportunity to develop its own home services proposition under the GreenSource and Direct Energy brands, offering installation of boilers and heating systems, maintenance and financing options.

Direct Energy is the largest unregulated energy wholesaler in North America and today’s acquisition is a further sign of Centrica’s commitment to developing a home services package for DEML’s existing energy customers, in order to replicate the success of the Centrica model in Britain. DEML has more than 900,000 gas customers in Canada and more than 400,000 customers have already signed up for electricity in anticipation of the Ontario electricity market opening.

Direct Energy Marketing Limited and Centrica’s UK based Home Services Division will be providing project management and other support services during the transition phase.

Roy Gardner, Centrica’s Chief Executive, said:  “This is an important first step towards our longer term goals in North America, and is an excellent strategic fit with our energy offering to customers in Ontario.

“Since its formation in 1997, Centrica has focussed on developing relationships with its traditional gas customer base, successfully expanding into new products and services.  This is already proving successful in Britain and we are now moving forward with this strategy in North America.”