British Gas is the UK's largest supplier of gas and electricity for domestic use. But does 'biggest' mean best? Find out what they offer and how British Gas tariffs, charges and customer service measure up.
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British Gas is part of the Centrica Group, which was formed following the merger of British Gas plc in 1997. British Gas also operates under the names Scottish Gas in Scotland.
British Gas was rated three-and-a-half stars out of five by customers in the 2018 independent survey from uSwitch and YouGov. The big six supplier's customers rated them in categories including value for money and customer service.
In April 2018, British Gas announced a price rise of 5.5% for all dual fuel standard variable rate tariff customers (about 1.4 million BG customers), effective 29 May 2018.
The increase put the big six supplier's standard tariff at £369 above the cheapest energy deal on the market at the time of announcment.
“This rise is a bolt from the blue for the four million customers on British Gas' Standard Variable Tariff," said Claire Osbourne, uSwitch energy expert.
"While many are still counting the cost after a long and cold winter, they will be wondering whether British Gas have taken the opportunity to use the prepayment price rise as an excuse to increase rates ahead of a potential wider price cap.
“Likewise, British Gas is also raising prices on its new default 'Temporary Tariff' by the same amount. with the difference between the two deals a mere £25, it’s important that customers are aware that neither the SVT nor the Temporary Tariff offer anything close to a good deal.
"The danger now is that the rest of the big six may be tempted to follow suit. Customers can send the clearest message that they won't tolerate being taken for a ride by switching supplier to a cheaper tariff, with savings of up to £491 on offer."
See the most recent price changes from British Gas and other suppliers below:
|Supplier||Date effective||Avg price change (%)|
|7 June 2018|| |
|26 April 2017|| |
|29 May 2018|| |
|1 June 2018|| |
|28 April 2017|| |
|16 March 2017|| |
*Based on a medium energy user on a standard dual fuel tariff, paying on receipt of bill, with bill sizes averaged across all regions.
In August 2017, after freezing prices for six months, British Gas announced it would raise electricity prices by 12.5% on its standard plan customers. This price rise would take effect 15 September.
Claire Osborne, energy expert at uswitch says:
“It’s time switch supplier and send a message that price rises like these just aren’t acceptable.
“Seven in 10 households are overpaying for their energy on expensive standard tariffs, yet within ten minutes they could switch and save hundreds of pounds – as well as protect themselves against further hikes by fixing their tariff.”
Previously, in February 2017, British Gas had announced it would extend its price freeze until August 2017. This news came after three other big six suppliers — EDF Energy, ScottishPower and npower — had announced price rises of 1.8%, 7.8% and 9.8%, respectively.
In November 2016, British Gas announced that it would freeze prices for standard rate customers for the winter season. The supplier promised to keep rates where they are until at least March 2017 (in early 2017 the supplier stated it would extend its price freeze until August 2017).
British Gas last announced a price rise in October 2013, when the company said it would raise prices by 9.2% on average, or about £123 more per year for the average customer. This would go into effect on 23 November 2013. (In 2014 and in 2015, the supplier announced three price cuts to its gas customers.)