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British Industrial History

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Centrica

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Centrica plc is a British multinational utility company with its headquarters in Windsor, Berkshire. Its principal activity is the supply of gas and electricity to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and North America. It is the largest supplier of gas to domestic customers in the UK, and one of the largest suppliers of electricity, operating under the trading names Scottish Gas in Scotland and British Gas in England and Wales. It also has extensive gas production facilities in the North Sea and elsewhere.

The company has it historical origin in the Gas Light and Coke Co which was incorporated in 1812. Over the next 137 years it grew by acquisition of other gas companies to become the primary supplier of gas to Greater London.

1949 under the Gas Act 1948 the gas industry was nationalized and ownership of the company was transferred to the North Thames Gas Board.

Post 1986: Under the Gas Act 1986 the company was sold to private investors as British Gas.

1997 Centrica became a separate, distinct corporation on 17 February 1997, when British Gas plc demerged to form three separate companies: Centrica plc, BG plc and Transco plc. Centrica took over gas sales and gas trading, services and retail businesses, together with the gas production operations in the North and South Morecambe gas fields (Rampside Gas Terminal).

1998 Centrica’s monopoly for supply of gas in the UK came to an end. Centrica maintained the British Gas retail brand but is only allowed to use this brand name in the UK. The electricity market was also opened up to competition and, through the British Gas brand, the company started supplying its first domestic electricity customers.

2015 The company consists of British Gas, Direct Energy, Bord gais Energy, Centrica Energy and Centrica Storage.[1]

2015 Employs: British Gas - 29,864, Direct Energy - 6,155, Centrica Energy- 2,231, and Bord Gais Energy - 306.[2]

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