British (and Scottish) Gas is the UK’s biggest energy supplier, serving over 10m homes. And no surprise for a provider still benefitting from its past monopoly advantage, it ain’t cheap!
After all, why should it be – many of its customers stick with it, price hike after price hike, bill after bill.
Currently though, there is a way to stay with BG and hugely slash your cost, but you can’t just call it and ask. Any of its customers in the UK (not Northern Ireland) can do this, providing you…
- Already do or are willing to pay by monthly (variable) direct debit
- Use it for dual fuel (so electricity and gas)
- Are willing to be billed online
What is this magical British Gas money-saving potion?
Quite simply it will sell you the same gas, same electricity, same safety etc as you get right now, but charge less for it and it’ll guarantee it won’t hike the rate for over a year. Yet you can’t just call British Gas and ask for it.
It’s a new tariff called British Gas All Online January 2019 and it’s only available via comparison sites (we’ve no indication of how long it’ll last, so it could be pulled at any time). So to make it easy, just quickly plug details from your bill – guesstimate if you don’t have it to hand – into our special Cheap Energy Club ‘My Current Supplier’ comparison.
This filters out all but British Gas’s tariffs. Then you can see your exact saving (it depends on where you live and how much you use) and then click the button to turn that tariff on, and pay less.
|PS: While this should save you decent money, you can save far more if you’re willing to switch provider. So when you’re looking at the results page of your British Gas comparison, why not play with the filters on the side, to see how much you can save elsewhere too?
The new tariff is a fix, which means you’re guaranteed no price hikes until January 2019 (unlike the normal British Gas tariff, which can be increased any time), though of course if you use more, you’ll pay more. If – as is unlikely if you’re doing this – you want to leave British Gas before then, you’ll pay a £40 early exit fee.
Those who don’t already have a British Gas smart meter will need to book installation for one by 31 July 2018. These automatically send meter readings to your supplier, so you get exact bills and pay only for what you use (for more on that, see our Smart Meters guide). And you’ll need to join the free British Gas Rewards loyalty scheme, but that just earns you things such as free movies from the Sky Store.
PS: If you’re wondering why it’s only available via comparison sites, it has likely done this so it can target switchers from elsewhere, but thankfully it has allowed existing customers to get it too.
How much cheaper is it likely to be?
Someone with typical usage (defined by regulator Ofgem) currently on a British Gas standard tariff (as most with it are) currently pays £1,100/year.
On the same usage, the new tariff will cost you on average (it depends where you live) £995/year. Plus, switch via our Cheap Energy Club and you get £25 cashback, making the saving a typical £130.
Though obviously if you’ve higher bills you’ll likely save more than that, lower bills less than that (yet the cashback is always £25 regardless).
It is worth noting on the same usage the very cheapest deals from elsewhere would save you about £300 (hence the big bold writing in the box above).
Why is there a Sainsbury’s Energy deal in my ‘British Gas only’ results?
Sainsbury’s Energy is just British Gas in disguise – it’s the same company, just selling its wares under a different name. And there’s a new Sainsbury’s deal out at the same time which for some will top the new British Gas deal – it depends on where you live and how much you use.
It’s called Sainsbury’s Price Freeze November 2018, and as the name suggests it’s also a fixed tariff, though the price guarantee is shorter than British Gas’s. If this is cheaper for you, you may decide to plump for it instead. Frankly, it’s a very similar deal, though doesn’t require you to have a smart meter.
How come MSE pays cashback on this?
Like all energy comparison sites, if you can switch through us, we get paid. Though unlike some we still include all tariffs, whether they pay us or not (unless you choose to filter them out).
Yet we aim to give you about half of what we’re paid in cashback. Just to be clear, you get exactly the same deal as you would if you went to the firm (but in this case you can’t do that) plus the cashback on top that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
The rest helps cover our costs and hopefully makes us some profit. We’ve had to drop the cashback from £30 to £25 recently as suppliers can give us less – for more see MSE Jason’s blog.