Providing gas and electricity to about 12 million households in the UK, British Gas are unquestionably the UK’s largest energy provider, but are they the best? With historically dismal reviews and high tariffs across the board, BG seem to be coasting on their previous reputation, and have been losing customers as a result. To quote the classic British Gas ad, tell Sid—that he’s getting ripped off.
Customer Service Reviews
You may think that after serving so many customers, British Gas would know how to deal efficiently with any problems that may come up. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Critiques on BG’s customer service are generally quite negative, and sometimes scathing.
British Gas is frankly abominable having double charged me and refusing to give the money back ... Useless and unhelpful customer service ... Don't go near them. - M with British Gas
On Trustpilot British Gas has a score of 2.1/10. A full 49% of reviews are 1 star ratings, the lowest rating possible on the site. Even so, British Gas is actually hitting above its weight when compared to other UK energy giants. However, that hardly qualifies as praise when taking in the industry as a whole.
These negative reviews often visit the same topics of poor customer service, extremely long wait times and issues submitting meter readings. Customers also cite problems with the installation and functions of British Gas smart meters and the company’s inability to deal with those problems.
Although Trustpilot is known for complaints, British Gas also fared poorly on the Which? energy survey. Based on ratings by 7,429 individuals, BG received an overall score of 56%, and ranked near the bottom of the pack at 26th out of 30 energy companies.
Which? breaks down their ratings by category, and British Gas varies a bit across the board. In terms of online customer service and complaints handling BG has a decent 3/5 stars, while their value for money and bill clarity hold a lower 2/5.
Reviews on Google are similar, with the majority being 1/5 stars. These negative reviews mention a lack of customer service and long, sometimes never-ending, waits on responses from the company.
You can read even more reviews on British Gas via our British Gas Reviews page via the link below.
Tariffs and Prices
British Gas provide a variety of options for household energy, but their principle tariffs are their variable tariff, 'Standard', and their fixed price tariff, 'Home Energy'.
What's the difference? Fixed tariffs, like their 'HomeEnergy Fixed' tariff, use a unit rate from a static date that does not change; however, variable tariffs, like their 'standard', fluctuate with the volatility of the wholesale energy market.
This could allow potential savings if the unit rate goes down in price, although it could also result in much higher bills, if the unit rate rises in price as it has done frequently in the past. Additionally, with Brexit looming on the energy industry, it is likely that rates will increase significantly in the months to come.
Do variable rate tariffs save you money?Unless you’re an eagle-eyed energy buff who is ready to switch to another company at a moment’s notice, the short answer is no.
Fixed rate tariffs strike a balance between peace of mind and your wallet. Unless you have nothing better to do than poring over reams of energy bills, it’s best to stick with a fixed rate tariff.
Since energy providers change their tariffs constantly, it's extremely difficult to keep up with prices, so the best way to get an accurate quotation is to give us a call at 01704 325069.
In the table below you can see an example of how much British Gas’ most popular tariff costs. Bear in mind that gas and electricity prices vary depending on location, so make sure to check prices for your region.
|Region||Elec price per kWh||Elec yearly price||Elec standing charge||Elec TCR||Gas price per kWh||Gas yearly price||Gas standing charge||Gas TCR||Dual Fuel Yearly|
|North East EN||19.04p||£590.24||29.01p||22.46p||4.27p||£533.75||31.07p||20.88p||£1,123.99|
|North West EN||19.54p||£605.74||26.78p||22.69p||4.35p||£543.75||31.07p||21.20p||£1,149.49|
|Merseyside & N Wales||20.85p||£646.35||26.86p||24.01p||4.38p||£547.50||31.07p||21.32p||£1,193.85|
|South East EN||19.93p||£617.83||27.96p||23.22p||4.46p||£557.50||31.07p||21.64p||£1,175.33|
|South West EN||20.10p||£623.10||28.47p||23.45p||4.54p||£567.50||31.07p||21.96p||£1,190.60|
Last Updated: April 2019
Even at a glance, British Gas’ prices show that there’s savings to be had—somewhere else. Nearly anywhere else, actually. On the 2018 Which? survey 7,429 customers ranked BG as the second worst value-for-money, behind only npower. British Gas may soon find itself at the very bottom, as npower will soon be completely absorbed by the slightly higher ranked Eon.
Based on Selectra research, we’ve found that the average 3 bedroom, 3 person flat in London could save more than £450 per year!
Still not sure about your British Gas tariff? We have even more information on our British Gas Price page.
Although British Gas aren’t a part of the increasing number of energy suppliers offering 100% renewable electricity, they have historically had a high percentage of renewable fuel sources, especially compared to the other Big Six companies.
While still having a greener mix than the UK average, as more and more smaller suppliers offer 100% renewable energy that gap is shrinking. British Gas sports 43% renewables, compared to the national average of 29%. They also use a slightly smaller proportion of natural gas and coal than the national average, but the difference is minimal.
While British Gas’ fuel mix is still a strength, as the market gets greener and greener, their slightly better than average fuel mix is less and less of a draw. Environmentally minded households have no shortage of 100% renewable energy tariff options, with better service and lower prices to boot.
British Gas Login
Are you a new or existing British Gas customer? If you’re looking to access your online account, just click the link below and type in the email that corresponds to your British Gas account, followed by the password. If you’ve forgotten your contact info, you can click on the “Forgotten your email?” button.
If you’re a new BG customer, you can use the same link below to set up a new account. Just start out by typing in your email address and follow the instructions that follow.
Once you are logged into the online portal with your username and password, you will be able to do the following:
- Manage your energy bills
- See past usage details to gain insight into your energy usage habits
- Submit meter readings to get more accurate billing
- Book a free smart meter installation
Warm Home Discount
If British Gas is currently providing your home’s energy, you may benefit from the Warm Home Discount. BG does offer the scheme to pensioners and certain other individuals.
What is the Warm Home Discount?
In simple terms, it’s a scheme designed to reduce energy bills for households suffering from fuel poverty. The scheme is only active during the months of October through March, when colder weather pushes up fuel costs.
Are You Eligible?
The Warm Home Discount is available to two core groups of people. The first are pensioners. As part of this group, you’re automatically eligible if you:
- Receive Guaranteed Pension Credit
- You or your partner are the account holder
- Your electricity supplier is part of the scheme
If you currently benefit from the Warm Home Discount, make sure you’re not missing out on potential savings. Smaller competitors may not offer the scheme, but you could still end up paying less with cheaper tariff rates, without having to jump through hoops!
If that’s not the case, you may still be part of the second group of households eligible for the discount. You may benefit from the scheme if you’re on a low income and receive certain means-tested benefits. You must apply directly to your energy supplier if that’s the case.
If you’re part of the second group, you’ll need to re-apply for the discount every year, as it does not carry over from one year to the next.
You can find even more information on benefits availabe and how to receive the Warm Home Discount from British Gas on our main British Gas Warm Home Discount page via the link below.
About British Gas
British Gas is without question the UK’s biggest energy supplier, but how did it get there? Read on to discover the long history of British Gas all the way from 1812 up to 2019.
Although British Gas was founded in 1986 as a public limited company (plc), their roots date back over 200 years, making it one of the world’s oldest companies. The timeline below illustrates some of the important events in British Gas’s history.
1812 - The Gas Light & Coke Company (GLCC), the first public utilities company in the world, is set up.
1947 - The British Coal industry is nationalised.
1948 - The gas industry is nationalised, therefore dividing the nation’s gas activity into 12 regional gas boards. This ends the GLCC.
1968 - The Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI) is formed.
1972 - The gas council is discontinued and replaced with the British Gas Corporation.
1986 - The gas industry is privatised by the Thatcher government, forming British Gas plc.
- Tell Sid campaign is launched to promote investment in British Gas.
1994 - British Gas re-structured
1997 - British Gas separated into two different companies, ‘Centrica plc’ and ‘British Gas plc’.
1998 - British Gas begins selling electricity to customers.
British Gas continues today to be the sole supply brand for the Centrica conglomerate, allowing a comprehensive energy network through a family of unique companies. Instantly identifiable by their distinctive British Gas vans, their intelligent branding and marketing has made the company one of the most-recognised household names of the last 20 years.
Interestingly, British Gas also collaborated with Sainsbury’s to provide white label energy tariffs and leverage the latter’s brand recognition. This partnership came to a close in February of this year.
British Gas is still the largest supplier in the UK, but recent years have taken a toll on the energy giant. Smaller competitors with lower prices, higher wholesale costs and the recent national price cap set up by Ofgem have each cut heavily into British Gas’ bottom line.
In 2018 British Gas earned an impressive £3.054 billion in revenue, but that whopping number actually represents a £442 million loss since 2013.
Even so, British Gas still has a comfortable majority of the UK market, holding about 19% of households as of Q3 2018. At 13% each, SSE and E.ON are trailing behind.
British Gas Homecare
In addition to their electricity and gas tariffs, British Gas also offers Homecare, a hub for different home insurance options. The coverage is billed as a separate service from energy supplies.
One of BG’s Homecare services is boiler cover. If you don’t have a boiler insurance policy you should consider one for the following reasons:
- Save money if you need boiler repair
- Home insurance may not cover all boiler problems
- Landlords are legally obliged to ensure boilers and other heating elements are regularly serviced
While British Gas’s boiler cover options may be more appealing than their home energy tariffs, they don’t quite manage to claim the title as our favourite. We recommend looking into 24/7 Home Rescue, which combines expert service with low prices. You can click the link below to get all the info on boiler cover options.
British Gas do offer business energy tariffs and, in contrast with their domestic energy offerings, are up there with the most competitive on the market. At present they only offer one single rate for gas and one for electricity.
Keep your energy costs as low as possible, give us a call today!
The rates, fees and services offered to businesses depend on the amount of energy used per year. If a firm spends £100,000 they are considered a large business in the UK.
British Gas offers bespoke service to their large business customers and guarantees a 24 hour response time to any query, no matter the time of day or season.
They also further separate their large business customers into those that spend over one million pounds per year and those that spend less. For these major accounts, British Gas provides a Customer Manager and Customer Executive to act as a single point of contact for your business.
While BG's business prices are impressive, there’s a strong chance there could be a better deal out there for your business. The best way to be sure you’re getting the best business tariff is by giving us a call.
British Gas Smart Meters
Great Britain is currently undergoing, like many other countries across Europe, a national rollout of smart meters. While the government had hoped for every household to have a smart meter by 2020, this has been shifted to a soft target due to unexpected delays in the rollout process.
British Gas does offer smart meters, although they’re not yet available in some regions. You can log in to your British Gas account to apply for a smart meter using the link below. If smart meters are not yet available in your area, you’ll be notified by BG once that changes.
Smart meters can make monitoring and paying energy bills faster and easier. They have the following advantages compared to standard meters:
- Monitor energy use in nearly real time
- Eliminate the need for estimated bills
- Allow customers to see, and change, energy-wasting habits
- Compatibility with smart grid technology and some solar panels
Need to submit a meter reading with British Gas? You can do so via the link below.
If you need more information on a British Gas reading, check out their meter reading info page. You’ll find links and information on the following:
- Register and submit your first meter reading
- Submit a meter reading without registering
- Download the smartphone app
- Get more information on how to read GB gas and electricity meters
Is this your first time taking a meter reading? It’s fast and easy, but if you’ve never done it before it can seem a bit confusing. With our meter reading guide you’ll get the lowdown on how to get the magic numbers and keep your energy bills as accurate as possible - no muss, no fuss.
British Gas Smartphone App
If you’re inseparable from your smartphone, you’ll be happy to hear that British Gas has their own app available for iPhones and Android phones. With 3.5 stars on the Apple Store and 4 stars on the Google Play Store, the app has been well received by customers, especially compared to other supplier apps.
Once you’ve downloaded the app you can do the following, all without any calls or emails:
- Track your smart meters energy usage in nearly real time
- Set and monitor an energy-spend target
- Book a British Gas utility service
- Pay bills and monitor your account balance
If you’re a current or potential British Gas customer hoping to apply to receive Feed-in Tariff rates, we have disappointing news. While BG has offered Feed-in, or FiT, to customers, the entire scheme has been scrapped for new applicants as of April 2019.
FiT began in 2010 and was designed to promote small-scale renewable energy production. Homes that generated their own electricity from renewables like solar panels would receive money for each kilowatt hour generated, with additional money given for excess electricity that was added to the national grid.
The scheme was extremely successful, so much so that demand has outstripped the funds available as far more households have participated than previously expected. Because of the high costs, Ofgem ultimately decided to end the programme.
Are you already receiving FiT benefits? If you are, don’t panic. Although new applicants will not be considered, existing FiT contracts will be honoured, for the length of the original agreements.
Ready for the big move? One of the most important steps is making sure your new home is properly set up with gas and electricity.
If you’re moving into or out of a British Gas supplied home, be sure to let them know via the link below.
No matter who is currently providing your energy, moving can seem intimidating. You’ll need to set up new contracts, find information on your new city and possibly set up a new gas or electricity connection. But don’t worry, we have all the info you need to make your move easy.
British Gas is 100% owned by the conglomerate Centrica, which also owns, wholly or partially, another 14 subsidiaries. In their preliminary 2018 report they estimate revenue of £29.7 billion, although the final number may be adjusted somewhat.
Even with rising energy costs they’ve estimated an adjusted operating profit of £1.39 billion. For those not in the know, adjusted operating profit is a profit estimate that is adjusted to try and factor out costs or expenses that are unlikely to reoccur, to give a better estimate of a company’s future.
They appear to generate the large majority, if not all, of their own energy supply, which makes profit margins much higher. Due to Centrica owning eight generation subsidiaries, purchasing energy from the wholesale market does not make a great deal of sense. Through these subsidiaries, they also make a substantial profit in generation by selling their excess energy to other supply companies.
You can read more about British Gas' (Centrica) financial activity by visiting the link below.
Recently, British Gas’ parent company Centrica announced that Ofgem’s price cap would reduce profits in 2019, which led its share price plummeting to its lowest point since 1999.
The below table represents Centrica’s opening share price on the first trading day of each April since 2007, based on data released from Centrica itself and confirmed by the London Stock Exchange.
Last Updated: April 2019
The latest dip comes after months of losses as more and more British Gas customers have switched to smaller suppliers and two nuclear power stations have been taken offline. While Centrica may recover in the months and years to come, overall their shares are on a dismal trend.
|The Pros||The Cons|
|Easy to use app||High tariff prices|
|Better than average fuel mix||Poor customer service|
|Warm Home Discount offered||Poor financials|
As noted above, British Gas has recently hit a rut, with customers leaving at higher rates than ever and their share price crashing as a result. Looking at British Gas’ high prices and poorly rated customer service, it’s not hard to see why customers are so keen to leave.
There’s simply better service available at far lower prices by switching to an independent energy supplier.
Even for customers sticking with British Gas solely to receive the Warm Home Discount or to avoid cancellation fees, any money they may lose would be more than made up for by energy savings from switching to an alternate energy provider. We recommend Octopus or Tonik Energy, who are both known for great service, competitive prices and 100% renewable electricity tariffs.