British Gas to offer some smart meter users half-price electricity on Sundays this summer – here's what you need to know
British Gas is offering some customers with a smart meter half-price electricity on Sundays this summer as part of its 'PeakSave' scheme. It's a no-brainer perk for those who can get it – but you should still consider and keep an eye out for cheaper fixed deals, as they could save you more in the long term.
The energy supplier first launched its PeakSave scheme late last year as part of National Grid ESO's Demand Flexibility Service, which aimed to reduce energy demand during peak times by offering customers rewards for shifting their usage.
Now, British Gas is expanding its scheme by introducing a new 'Summer Sundays' discount as part of it.
Who can get the discount
The discount will only be available to British Gas customers with smart meters who are signed up to its PeakSave scheme. The firm told us PeakSave currently has 200,000 members.
If you're not already part of PeakSave, you can register your interest to join the initiative on the British Gas website – though there's no guarantee you'll be enrolled straight away. British Gas told us there'll be a "short set up period" for those with smart meters, while those without a smart meter will need to have one installed first.
How the discount will work
Here are the key need-to-knows:
- You'll get 50% off each unit of electricity you use between 11am and 4pm on Sundays. You'll be billed for the electricity you use as normal, and British Gas will then credit your account back with half of what you spent within two weeks of each event.
The discount will be taken off your unit rate only – the standing charge will not be discounted. It's also worth noting you'll only get the discount on the first 60 units (kWh) of electricity you use – any usage above this will be charged at your standard rate (though this is unlikely to be an issue for most households; for reference, a typical tumble dryer uses 4.5 kWh per cycle).
- Your normal tariff will apply outside the discount period. For most, this is currently the rate under the Government's Energy Price Guarantee, which is being replaced by the lower Energy Price Cap from 1 July.
But if you're on a fixed-rate deal (for example, because you recently took up an existing customer fix with British Gas), you'll pay those rates instead.
- The scheme will run from this Sunday (25 June) to 24 September 2023. British Gas says a typical household could save up to £29.25 over the course of the summer, depending on their activities and usage.
For example, one hour of using a washing machine every Sunday throughout the scheme (equating to 14 Sundays) could save you £4.52 in total, while two hours of using an electric oven on each of those Sundays could save you £8.90 in total.
- You WON'T need to join each event individually. You'll get the discount automatically as long as you're part of PeakSave. British Gas says it'll send you a text to remind you before each event.
We've asked the other major suppliers who ran energy use-cutting schemes this winter – E.on, EDF, Octopus, Ovo, Shell and Utilita – if they plan on introducing similar initiatives and will update this story when we hear back.
Keep an eye out for cheap fixes as they could save you more
In recent weeks, we've seen several providers launch fixed-rate energy deals for the first time since the energy crisis hit. This includes So Energy, which is currently offering a competitive fixed deal to some switchers (though this is limited and could be pulled at any time).
In the longer term, a cheap fix could save you more than the limited Sunday discount from British Gas, depending on your energy usage.
For the latest updates, including our analysis of all the new and existing customer tariffs we know about, see our Is it time to fix your energy? guide.