British Gas has stepped into the energy price war by launching a new online tariff today.

The new Websaver 4 tariff is still not table topping nationwide. It comes a close second to EDF's cheapest online offering, except in a handful of regions, where British Gas is now cheapest.

The average annual bill for customers on the tariff is £994. If you sign up to dual fuel (gas and electricity), there is a £60 exit fee if you then want out before February 2010. The fee is £30 if you sign-up to either gas or electric.

It has a guarantee it will always be 6% cheaper than British Gas's standard tariff.

Compare, switch & get cashback

The launch is yet another trigger for those who've not checked out their tariff to do a comparison to see if it's possible to save.

Many who've never switched before will be able to save £250 a year, and even those who have could see savings of over £100. For full details including how to grab up to £30 added cashback see the Cheap Gas & Electricity guide.

Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert creator, says: "This is further evidence that a fierce hidden price war is raging, yet only those in the know will gain. While standard prices remain unchanged, the real battle is to be top of comparison site results tables with the cheapest online tariff (ie, internet billing).

"Barely a week passes without a new tariff shaving the previous best price. Now British Gas has joined the fray. What's interesting is how precise the offerings are becoming. EDF energy wins in two thirds of the regions, but doesn't compete where it was the incumbent supplier.

"British Gas's new tariff can be seen as a deliberate piece of price positioning to gain custom in those other areas. Yet regardless of those complexities, the overall message is simple – check to see if you can save."

Further reading/Key links

Slash energy costs:
Capped tariff ending soon?


Discuss this MSE news story: British Gas hots up the online price war