MSE News

British Gas prepay meter users to pay less for gas from 1 April – here's what you need to know

British Gas has cut gas prices for over a million of its prepay meter users as of Saturday 1 April, bringing them in line with the rates paid by those on direct debit. The change means these customers will save an average of £59 each on their gas costs over the next year. Here's what you need to know. 

Following the Chancellor's Budget announcement, prepayment customers across the UK were already set to see their gas prices lowered to match direct debit costs from July. Prepay users currently pay slightly less for electricity than direct debit users on average – so the change won't affect electricity-only users. 

But British Gas brought this price cut forward to 1 April, which it says will represent a total saving of "well over £10 million" for its prepayment customers over the next three months.

It comes after industry regulator Ofgem banned the forced installation of prepay meters indefinitely, following concerns that the meters were being fitted in vulnerable people's homes against their will.

If you're currently struggling to pay for gas and electricity, see our step-by-step Energy bills help guide.

How your costs changed from 1 April

You don't need to do anything to benefit from the new rates – just top up as normal and the amount you pay for gas will reduce as follows:

British Gas average yearly energy bill

Fuel Direct debit – current and 1 April Prepay – current Prepay – from 1 April
Gas £1,343 £1,403 £1,343
Electricity £1,156 £1,141 £1,141
Dual fuel (gas and elec) £2,500 £2,544 £2,485

Based on 'typical' usage of 12,000 kWh of gas and 2,900 kWh of electricity a year.

We asked other major energy firms if they also plan to cut prices before July. Utility Warehouse told us it would be keeping rates as they are for now, while E.on, EDFOctopusOvo (which also owns Boost and SSE), Scottish Power and Utilita are all yet to confirm their approach.

What you should be doing now to help yourself

There are no prepay tariffs meaningfully cheaper than the price guarantee, so you can't switch and save right now. Yet there are three areas to focus on...

  • Check you've redeemed your £66 and £67 energy help vouchers. These were issued as £66 each for October and November 2022 and as £67 a month for December 2022 to March 2023. If you haven't got them, or if they've expired, your supplier can reissue them. See prepay voucher help.

  • Try to cut your energy usage. There are lots of ways to easily reduce what you use. Try our new interactive energy saving tool, where you can click around a virtual house to find out how much things cost to run and how to cut back. Also, see more Energy saving tips, the Energy mythbusters guide for less clear-cut issues, and our Heat the human guide. 

  • Have you got all the help you qualify for? There are grants and other schemes available. See our step-by-step Energy bill help guide.

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