British Gas to mail out price-hike ‘explanation’ to 15 million homes

British Gas is planning to counteract the bad publicity resulting from its recent steep price hike in gas and electricity, with the launch of a booklet explaining the reasons behind the increase.

The launch of the 16-page booklet, entitled In the Know – Energy Prices Explained, follows last week’s announcement that gas prices would rise by an average of 12.4 per cent, and electricity prices by 9.4 per cent. The new prices take effect from September 20 (MW last week). Industry watchdog Energywatch slammed the move, advising consumers to switch to cheaper suppliers.

Rival gas and electricity suppliers are expected to step up their marketing and advertising campaigns as they try to lure customers away from British Gas. According to industry observers, the utility company is likely to lose more than 1 million customers to rival providers.

The booklet, which explain that factors such as increasing wholesale gas prices have triggered British Gas’s second price rise of the year, will be sent out to the company’s 15 million customers this week.

British Gas head of marketing communications Charlie Herbert adds that the company is also planning to “invest heavily” in advertising the brand and its “emotional value”. Clemmow Hornby Inge holds the British Gas advertising account.

Details have yet to be unveiled, but Herbert says that the retention campaign will build on British Gas brand values such as trust. “We will also be launching new price packages for our customers to help them through this difficult time,” he says.

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