FEATURE16 September 2019

Energising the market

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Energy Features Impact UK

To address the changing nature of the energy market, British Gas had to adopt a more unified view of its data and insight, as Paul de Laat explains to Jane Simms.

Smart meter display

Paul de Laat joined Centrica, the international energy and services company, in 2016, as head of data, insight and customer value management. Competition was fierce: a rush of new entrants into the market wanted to break the dominance of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers, including Centrica’s main brand, British Gas.

Roll forward a few years and there are now 65 energy companies in the UK. While British Gas is still the biggest, growing competition – combined with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation and a price cap on standard variable tariffs – mean the company has had to change strategic direction to differentiate itself in the market. As a result, its focus has switched from customer acquisition to customer retention, and gaining greater value from more loyal customers.

De Laat and his team are playing a pivotal role in this strategic shift. “I joined Centrica at a time ...