British Gas customers – what the energy crisis means for you

British Gas explains how to read a digital gas meter

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British Gas is one of the biggest energy companies in the UK, supplying gas and electricity to more than seven million homes and businesses across the country. While customers across all energy providers will be hit by the rising energy price cap, the industry giant has announced specific figures for its huge customer base. This is everything you need to know
about the energy crisis as a British Gas customer.

How much will the energy price cap rise by?

The cost of gas and electricity will rise on April 1, 2022, following Ofgem’s energy price cap announcement.

According to the energy regulator, the existing cap will increase by 54 percent, pushing the current cap of £1,277 per year to £1,971 for a typical UK household.

A higher price cap will allow suppliers to inflate their own energy rates, forcing customers to pay more in line with rising wholesale costs – but how much more should British Gas customers expect to pay?

Which British Gas customers will be affected?

While the rise in each customer’s household bills will vary, all households should expect to pay more as they use more energy.

Those on prepayment tariffs are expected to see a £708 increase in their yearly bill, with the average cost jumping from £1,309 to £2,017 per year.

For British Gas customers, the energy supplier has revealed that all households will have to pay more unless they are currently on a fixed price tariff.

This means that some customers will not be subject to the new, higher prices until the duration of their tariff period is over.

Standing charges will increase for most British Gas customers in line with Ofgem’s energy price cap increase.

According to British Gas, the following tariffs will be impacted by the new rates from April onwards:

  • Welcome to British Gas
  • The Peoples Tariff
  • Welcome Together
  • Safeguard Credit
  • Safeguard PAYG v2
  • Safeguard PAYG
  • Flexi PAYG Mar 2023
  • Standard PAYG
  • Standard Credit
  • Standard Variable
  • Standard Variable HM

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How much more will British Gas customers pay from April?

British Gas has revealed that based on a typical household, credit customers will pay £693 more on their annual energy bill, though this is excluding added VAT costs.

On average, customers will see their monthly bill increase by £58 per month with some customers facing higher figures based on their current usage, tariff and location.

For prepayment customers, bills are set to increase by £708 per year (excluding VAT), which equates to a rise of £59 per month.

Again, prices will vary for different households based on the payment method and energy usage.

How will direct debit customers be affected?

Direct debit payment plans will not automatically be increased, though British Gas customers should expect to pay higher rates than they are now at the end of their billing period.

To keep up with the increased cost of energy usage, the supplier is recommending that direct debit customers voluntarily inflate their monthly payments by as much as they can now to get ahead of the sharp rise.

If you already pay by direct debit, British Gas will automatically check your payments every six months, and will recommend a new amount if you’re not paying enough to cover the costs.

The energy supplier states: “If you can’t afford the new payment amount, don’t worry. Just get in touch and we’ll find a solution that works for you.”

What help is available through British Gas?

In light of the sharp rise in the energy price cap, British Gas is offering extra help to customers who are struggling to cover gas and electricity costs.

Back in December 2021, the energy giant announced a £2 million investment into funding grants to help keep vulnerable customers warm, with a further £2 million having since been invested.

This fund will remain open until all of the money has been distributed to customers, so it is worth taking a look on its website to see if you are eligible to apply.

British Gas has also confirmed that it will be welcoming new customers in order to cover the shortfalls of suppliers that are no longer trading.

Payment plans and the British Gas Energy Trust are alternative routes available for struggling customers, with plenty of help and advice available regarding government grants, fuel debt and debt relief.

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