British Gas owner Centrica has announced around 500 jobs in the UK are at risk, with 400 looking likely to go in Scotland due to “growing challenges” including the price cap.

Sarwjit Sambhi, who took over as chief executive of Centrica Consumer from Mark Hodges, said: “This difficult decision was made because we need to respond to the growing challenges we face.

“Our customers want more from us. Competition is fierce and we’re operating under a price cap.”

As part of the proposals Centrica has suggested two of its offices in Glasgow will be consolidated.

A consultation will be held over the next 45 days, during which time the company will discuss the proposals and seek the views of employees and their representatives.

The energy giant also announced it was closing its Canal Street office in Leeds but added that no jobs there would be at risk.

Instead the site, which is thought to have an “ageing infrastructure”, will be consolidated with the company’s New Bridge House which is situated close by.

Centrica said it expects the default price cap to affect profits for this year as it delivered “mixed” financial results for 2018.

The firm reported that it shed 742,000 UK energy supply accounts in its preliminary results published in February.

Iain Conn, group chief executive of Centrica, said: “As we enter 2019 the year is a little bit uncertain and it’s a little bit different to what we imagined a year ago.

“There’s firstly the price cap in the UK energy market and the impact of this has been higher than we had expected a year ago. Particularly with a one-off increase in the first period, which we are challenging.

“The second thing is our exploration and production volumes were disappointing last year and are going to continue to be in the lower half of their planned range.

“Thirdly, we’ve got some nuclear power station outages at the moment and we don’t know when they’re going to come back.”

In February last year Centrica announced the loss of 4,000 jobs in the face of stiff competition and the energy price cap.

The company is not the only supplier to announce job cuts in recent months. In January, Npower announced around 900 jobs were due to be axed due to the “extremely tough UK retail energy market conditions”. Meanwhile in August last year, Eon confirmed it was “seeking” to cut 500 jobs across its UK operations.

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