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Last updated: 8th December 2021
British Gas Review Summary
British Gas can trace its roots back to 1812 when they were called The Gas Light and Coke Company, the world’s first public utility company. They are the UK’s largest energy supplier with around twelve million customers and approximately 20,000 employees.
- UK’s largest energy supplier with twelve million customers
- Electric vehicle tariff
- Rewards scheme
- Not the cheapest energy supplier
- Other energy suppliers are more environmentally friendly
- Slow to respond to phone calls and live chat requests
Who is British Gas?
British Gas can trace its roots back to 1812 when they were called The Gas Light and Coke Company, which was the first public utility company in the world. They are the UK’s largest energy supplier with around twelve million customers and approximately 20,000 employees. They are currently owned by Centrica.
British Gas offers a huge range of different fixed-rate and variable-rate tariffs covering different contract periods. They also offer tariffs for pre-payment customers.
Some of the tariffs are online-only tariffs and customers are required to manage all aspects of their accounts online. There are also tariffs where British Gas produces certificates to ensure that the electricity is 100% renewable.
The electric vehicle tariff, Electric Drivers Energy Plan Sep 2021, is a fixed-rate tariff for electric vehicle owners. It offers a lower overnight electricity price to make it cheaper for electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles. The electricity supplied via this tariff is 100% renewable.
British Gas energy supply contracts can be combined with insurance covering your boiler and central heating system, plumbing and drains, and your electrical system.
There are exit fees of between £30 and £40 per fuel on some of the tariffs, but some tariffs don’t have exit fees.
British Gas is a mandatory FiT Licensee and offers a ‘feed-in’ tariff.
British Gas is not the cheapest energy supplier. In the Which? energy survey, British Gas only scored two out of five stars for value for money.
British Gas scored 3.6 out of five stars on Trustpilot. 63% of the reviewers rate them as good or excellent, although 29% rate them as poor or bad.
Citizen’s Advice also gives British Gas 3.6 out of five stars, ranking them 14th out of 41 energy suppliers. Their overall score was dragged down by the length of time that it took them to answer the phone.
Which? rank British Gas joint 27th out of 35 energy suppliers. British Gas scored poorly for value for money and billing, although they were praised for how well they handled complaints.
British Gas does not make it easy to find their fuel mix on their website. Their electricity is cleaner than the UK average, and they generate less CO2 and nuclear waste than the UK average. However, only 56% comes from renewable sources, with coal and gas representing 33% of the electricity supplied and nuclear representing a further 9%.
However, they work with their customers to help those customers reduce their energy use via smart meters and smart home products from Hive which is part of the Centrica group that British Gas belong to. They also encourage their customers to switch to electric vehicles via a tariff designed to make it cheaper for electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles.
British Gas can be contacted by phone and their call centre is open until 8 pm on weekdays which is later than many other energy suppliers. However, Which? found that it took four minutes and 19 seconds for them to answer the phone, which was a fairly average performance. Citizen’s Advice got a response from British Gas in three minutes and 25 seconds and only scored them two out of five stars for their response speed.
There is a live chat feature on the British Gas website, although Which? found that British Gas was the slowest energy supplier to respond to a live chat request, with a response time of seven minutes and 14 seconds.
British Gas receives around 22.2 complaints per 10,000 customers. However, they only resolve around half of those complaints within two days.
The British Gas website is excellent. It’s well laid out and full of information. The information is easy to find. There is a live chat feature in case you need help.
The online account management feature on the website enables you to do everything you would need to do to manage your energy account, from viewing and paying your bills to submitting your meter readings and booking an engineer’s visit. There is also a live chat feature.
British Gas also has an app that lets you manage your energy account. This is compatible with Android devices and Apple’s iOS devices. It is rated 3.2 out of five stars at Google’s Play Store but only 2.7 out of five stars at Apple’s App Store.
If you’re a pre-payment customer with a smart meter, you use the website or the app to top up your account rather than having to go to a PayZone to buy credit.
British Gas charges more if you don’t pay by direct debit but they will accept payment by whatever method a customer chooses to pay, other than PayPal.
Customers can choose between a fixed monthly direct debit amount or a variable direct debit amount, although if they select the variable option, this means they will be paying a higher amount during the winter months when they are using more energy and a lower amount in the summer months. Customers on the fixed monthly direct debit option will have their monthly amount reviewed twice a year to ensure that it is correct, although they can change the amount they pay at any time by accessing their account online.
Billing is paperless by default, but customers can opt for a paper bill.
Pre-payment customers need to buy credit from a PayZone, although if they have a smart meter they can top up via the website the app, or over the phone.
British Gas ve installed more smart meters than any other UK energy supplier. They offer smart meters to pre-payment customers as well as customers who pay by direct debit.
Customers who already have a smart meter when they switch their energy supply to British Gas may find that their smart meter loses its smart functionality when they switch. British Gas says that they hope to be able to upgrade any meters to restore their functionality at some point.
British Gas is installing second-generation smart meters for its customers, so any British Gas customers switching to a different supplier should find that their smart meter does not lose any functionality after the switch.
Does British Gas offer a recommend-a-friend referral scheme?
British Gas does not offer a friend referral scheme.
Do they work with pre-payment meters?
Yes, British Gas accept pre-payment meters, including smart pre-payment meters.
Do they accept Economy 7?
British Gas accepts Economy 7.
Are they signed up to the Warm Home Discount?
British Gas is signed up to the Warm Home Discount. You can register your interest in the scheme and find out more about it and whether you are eligible at the British Gas website.
Are they signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee?
British Gas is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. According to Citizen’s Advice, 99% of switches are completed within 21 days.
Do they mention about the Priority Services Register?
British Gas operates a Priority Services Register. Eligible customers need to phone British Gas to get their name added to the Priority Services Register if they want to benefit from the additional support available.
Do they offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount?
British Gas does not offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount.
Will they offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they join them?
British Gas won’t pay any exit fees charged by a customer’s previous energy supplier. If a customer wants to switch to British Gas before their existing energy supply contract has reached its end, they will remain responsible for those fees.
What happens if you move home whilst with them?
The British Gas website makes it easy to manage your home move and contains several guides explaining how to make the move as hassle-free as possible.
Do they offer any incentives for joining?
British Gas operates a scheme called Rewards that lets its customers access a range of free and discounted treats like concert tickets, days out and restaurant meals. New customers also get a gift card worth up to £50 which can be spent at Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s or Tesco.
How to contact British Gas
You can contact British Gas in several ways. Below as part of our British Gas review, we’ve detailed all their means of contact:
Customer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 0333 202 9802
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm. Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm
Office Address: The Causeway, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 3BF
How do I switch to British Gas?
The easiest way to switch to British Gas is through a comparison website. This will allow you to check if British Gas is one of the cheapest suppliers for you (tariffs vary based on your area) and will allow you to quickly and easily switch to them.
If you are stuck on who to choose between British Gas and another supplier, we have put some quick comparisons together that you can find below: