MSE News

British Gas to hike bills by almost £100/yr after energy price cap rise

Around 2.3 million British Gas customers on standard tariffs will see gas and electricity bills jump by a typical £97/yr from April, after it announced it's raising prices by the maximum allowed under the new price cap. But most can beat the hikes and save £200/yr by switching to a cheaper deal. 

The energy giant will hike dual fuel standard variable tariff (SVT) prices to an average £1,138/yr based on typical use from 1 April. It's the first of the big energy firms to confirm it's raising prices after Ofgem last week said it is to lift the price cap on standard and default tariffs in April - with more expected to follow. 

To beat the hike, check if you can save with a full market comparison via our free Cheap Energy Club.

British Gas is raising prices by the maximum allowed

The hike is down to energy regulator Ofgem raising the price cap on standard and default tariffs. It announced last week that from 1 April the cap for credit meter standard tariffs, based on typical use, will jump from £1,042/yr to £1,138/yr, due to rising wholesale costs. Remember though, this ISN'T the maximum everyone will pay. The cap sets a maximum charge on the rate you pay for gas and electricity – use more and you'll pay more, use less and your costs will be lower.

If you're with British Gas, here's how your bills will change:

  • If you have a credit meter and are on its standard variable tariff, the price will rise on 1 April. British Gas's SVT prices are currently £1/yr below the cap, at £1,041/yr on typical use, but it's going to increase them to the level of the cap - £1,138/yr.

  • If you're a prepay customer, the price will also rise on 1 April. British Gas' only prepay tariff is a standard variable one. The price of that will rise by £87/yr on typical use, to £1,156/yr - again that's the maximum allowed under the Ofgem's separate prepay energy price cap.

  • If on a fixed deal, the price WON'T change until your fix is up. However if your fix ends after 1 April and you don't switch, you'll be moved onto British Gas' standard variable tariff, which will have become even more expensive as a result of the price rise.

Check NOW if you can switch and save

Standard tariffs are typically the most expensive – and if you've not switched in the last year, it's likely you're on one. If you're on a standard tariff, it's always worth checking if you can switch and save - but with British Gas now hiking prices and other firms likely to follow suit, now's a particularly good time to do it.

If you're on a standard or default tariff, you're free to switch away at any time. Suppliers can't charge you exit fees if you're on this type of tariff – and savings of well over £200/yr are possible once you factor in the price cap rise.  Do a full comparison and cehck if you can save with our Cheap Energy Club

Struggling to pay your bill? There's lots of additional help available right now 

Due to the pandemic, Ofgem has strengthened protections for energy customers, and put in place new rules to help those struggling to pay their bills.

Most importantly, your supply won't be cut off – disconnections of standard credit meters have been completely suspended, while new rules have been put in place to ensure prepayment customers get emergency or additional credit to ensure the lights stay on. 

For more info see energy coronavirus help, or check Ofgem's website for what to do if you're having difficulty paying. 

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!