More than four million British Gas customers will see their gas and electricity prices rise by an average £60 a year from the end of May – if you’re affected ACT NOW to beat the rise.
The energy firm today announced it is increasing its prices by an average 5.5% from 29 May for both its standard variable tariff and its new Temporary Tariff fixed-rate deal, which replaced the standard tariff at the end of March.
The price increase will impact more than 4.1 million standard variable customers, plus those on its Temporary Tariff, but the 3.7 million customers who are classed as vulnerable, are on a fixed-term contract or a prepayment meter will be unaffected.
To see if you can save by switching, do a full market comparison on our free Cheap Energy Club.
I am a British Gas customer – am I affected?
You’re only affected if you’re on British Gas’s Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) or Temporary Tariff, which is the new fixed-rate deal that customers are rolled onto once their existing tariff with British Gas ends. See our MSE British Gas scraps its standard tariff for new customers News story for more.
- If you’re on the SVT your annual bill will rise by £60 on average (£30 for gas and £30 for electricity) to £1161 for a typical dual fuel customer, an average 5.5% rise.
- If you’re on the Temporary Tariff your annual bill will increase by £60 on average (£30 for gas and £30 electricity) to £1,136 for a typical dual fuel customer, this equates to a rise of slightly more than 5.5%.
How can I beat the hike?
Everyone affected by the hike can move to a new tariff penalty-free.
There are no exit fees with both British Gas’s standard tariff and its replacement fix, so you can ditch and switch penalty-free. Use our free Cheap Energy Club to do a full market comparison to find the best deal for you.
If you want to stick with British Gas, you could switch to its cheapest tariff, All Online Apr 19 (only available via price comparison websites), which is currently £932/yr for the typical user although this tariff does have exit fees. However, to get this deal, you will need to arrange to have smart meters installed if you don’t already have them.
What is a standard variable tariff?
An SVT is an energy supplier’s default tariff. If you’ve never switched it’s likely you’re on one, while those on fixed deals are automatically rolled onto this tariff once their fixed-term period expires.
The cost of an SVT is, as the name suggests, variable. So the rate you pay can go up or down depending on wholesale energy costs what suppliers pay for gas and electricity and there are no exit fees or fixed end date.
Conversely, a fixed-price tariff essentially means the unit price you agree to pay for your energy is set for a certain period such as one or two years, meaning it won’t increase for the duration of the fix. However, these tariffs may have exit fees if you decide to switch before it ends.
What does British Gas say?
British Gas chief executive Mark Hodges said:
“We continue to work hard to reduce our own costs and keep our prices as low as possible.
“We have seen other suppliers raise prices and Ofgem increase the level of the prepayment tariff cap largely due to increasing wholesale energy and Government policy costs.
“Government policies, intended to transform the energy system, are important but they are putting pressure on customers’ bills.
“We believe Government should level the playing field so the customers of all suppliers pay a fair share of energy policy costs.
“We also continue to call on Ofgem to end the Standard Variable Tariff across the market which would encourage customers to proactively seek the best energy deal for them. We’ve taken action to end our own SVT for new customers. We have introduced a 12 month fixed-term default Temporary Tariff for customers who don’t make a choice when their existing contract comes to an end. And we will continue to engage all our existing customers on our standard tariff at least six times a year to encourage them to switch to one of our new fixed-term deals.”