The owner of British Gas, Centrica, has warned its earnings would be hit after it lost 823,000 domestic energy customers in the four months to October 31.
Following the “disappointing” performance in today’s update, the shares in the FTSE 100 company plunged 17 per cent in early trading.
Britain’s big energy suppliers are under pressure from smaller rivals able to offer cheaper deals. “Trading conditions continue to be highly competitive and performance delivery since mid-year within the Centrica Business energy supply businesses has been disappointing,” Chief Executive Iain Conn said.
Centrica’s British Gas business had around 14m residential energy supply accounts in 2016.
The sector has come under pressure since Prime Minister Theresa May said in October she would impose controls to tackle what she called “rip-off energy prices”.
Earlier this week, the utility firm had announced that it would stop offering its standard variable tariff (SVT) to new customers from March 31.