Why the Big Six don’t fear small challengers…

Smaller firms entering the energy market need not be feared, as their presence can actually create more opportunities for everyone. That’s the view of British Gas Business Managing Director Gab Barbaro, who […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Smaller firms entering the energy market need not be feared, as their presence can actually create more opportunities for everyone.

That’s the view of British Gas Business Managing Director Gab Barbaro, who told ELN that new players can help the ‘Big Six’ innovate.

He said: “Smaller businesses coming in is great. It’s great because its easier and faster for them to come in with new business models, challenge customers to think differently about energy and test things we wouldn’t necessarily test across our base straight away, so there’s a lot of pluses.

“What we need to do is understand what they’re doing and see what works. Some of it works and some of it doesn’t and when it does work we need to react.”

Mr Barbaro said that as a result of new players bringing increased competition and innovation, BGB and its parent company Centrica, is investing £500 million on smart technologies and modernised billing systems. By adopting an online-only system, the supplier has halved the number of calls coming through and reduced associated costs.

It has also led to Centrica investing £700 million in distributed energy and power to be able to also provide solar battery storage, CHP and other new technologies.

To see the full video of Energy Live News Editor Sumit Bose speaking to Gab Barbaro about everything from Brexit to energy efficiency and what energy supply means today, please click here.

Gab Barbaro will be speaking as part of a panel debate at the Energy Live 2016 conference this Thursday. Join in the debate using #EL2016.