Utility company Centrica has revealed that ongoing developments to its online platform have encouraged a growing number of British Gas customers to interact with the company online.  

“Our online platform continues to improve, and self-serve transactions now account for around 40 percent of all customer contacts, with the number of meter reads submitted, payment and Annual Services Visits (ASVs) booked online all increasing substantially year-on-year,” British Gas’s owner Centrica said in its preliminary results for the year to 31 December 2010.

Although it did not provide a further breakdown on the increase, in its results for the previous year, the company said that the number of meter reads submitted online had increased by around 50 percent to 75,000 a week in 2009. Furthermore, an average of 35,000 payment transactions were processed online each week, with 450,000 ASVs booked online during 2009.

Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw added that in 2011, the company planned to invest in “the continuous upgrade of our information systems and in new technologies to create the energy efficient homes and businesses of the future”.

In its latest full-year results, Centrica reported group operating profit of £2.39 billion, up 29 percent from 2009 (£1.857 billion).

Meanwhile, the British Gas division delivered profits of £742 million in 2010, up 24 percent on the £598 million recorded in 2009.

It was revealed recently that Centrica was able to identify more than £10 million in savings over a 12-month period when it embarked on an exercise to de-clutter its desktop environment of unused applications.

Furthermore, the company switched on a cloud-based service desk system from Service-now.com last October, which it expects to provide more scalable and cost-effective IT service management.