Trade union Unite has called on British Gas to use its profits to help customers save energy following Centrica's 2012 financial update results.

Centrica, parent company to British Gas, released its Preliminary Results 2012 and Strategy Update document yesterday, revealing that profits from British Gas' residential energy arm rose 11% on 2012, compared with the previous year. This was despite a 1% fall in the number of customer accounts.

Adjusted operating profits for the residential energy supply division were £606 million last year, compared to £544 million in 2011. This equates to almost £50 profit for every UK household.

"Despite the squeeze on household budgets, British Gas Services performed well. We improved retention rates across our product range, demonstrating the value which customers place on our services. However, in current economic conditions it is difficult to attract new customers and we also saw a reduction in boiler installation volumes, down 10% from last year."