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British Gas extends half-price electricity on Sundays offer for some smart meter users until April 2024 – here's what's happening

British Gas is extending its offer of half-price electricity on Sundays for some smart meter customers until April 2024. It's part of the energy firm's 'PeakSave' scheme and is a no-brainer for those who can get it. But you should still keep an eye out for cheaper fixed deals, as they could save you more in the long-term.

The energy supplier has confirmed it will extend its Sunday electricity-cutting scheme for another five weeks, meaning it will now end on 31 March 2024, instead of on 29 February 2023 as planned. 

British Gas first ran its PeakSave scheme between December 2022 and March 2023 before relaunching a similar version of the scheme in June 2023 with half-price electricity available for cutting usage on Sundays over the summer.

The energy supplier is also taking part in the National Grid's separate electricity cutting scheme. You can find details about how it works in our new Get paid to cut your energy use guide.

If you're looking for ways to reduce your electricity (and gas) usage, you can also see our Energy saving tips guide. And if you're struggling to pay your bills, see our Energy bill help guide.

Who can get British Gas's Sunday discount

The discount is only available to British Gas customers with smart meters that are enabled to send half-hourly meter readings, who are signed up to its PeakSave scheme. The firm told us PeakSave currently has over 500,000 members.

If you're not already signed up for PeakSave, you can register to join the initiative on the British Gas website. If you don't currently have a smart meter, you'll need to get one installed. British Gas previously told us its waiting time for installations was around 10 days, though it's yet to give us an update on this and waiting times can vary depending on location and property. For more on getting a smart meter, see our Smart meters guide.

How British Gas's 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 each Sunday – any usage above this will be charged at your standard rate.

    This is unlikely to be an issue for most households: for reference, a typical tumble dryer uses 4.5 kWh per cycle, and even high-use households only consume around 11 kWh of electricity per day on average (slightly more in the winter). But it's worth bearing in mind if you're planning to charge an electric car, for example.

  • Your normal tariff will apply outside the discount period. For most, this is currently the rate under Ofgem's Energy Price Cap as of 1 January. 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.

  • 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.

Keep an eye out for cheap fixes as they could save you more

Based on the Price Cap announcement for 1 April and the latest published Price Cap predictions, we think fixing is worth considering if a fixed deal is priced 18% less than the current January Price Cap, especially if you value certainty over what you'll pay.

  • Right now, it's possible to undercut the Price Cap with E.on Next's Pledge tariff. It promises to remain roughly 3% below the Price Cap for a year (so £50 a year at typical use), so when the Cap drops 12.3% in April, so too will this tariff. Therefore if you're going to remain on the Price Cap, it's worth considering this option.

  • If you want peace of mind of knowing exactly what you'll pay each month, the British Gas Price Promise tariff is roughly 12% cheaper than the current January Price Cap but on 1 April it will fall to be £30 a year cheaper than April's Cap for a typical dual-fuel user (so 14% less than the current Price Cap), and will remain fixed at that level until June 2025.

    British Gas had previously said it would be at least £1 per fuel less than April's Cap, but it has since changed this. There are also £75 per fuel exit fees, unless you switch to another British Gas fix, then it'll waive the fees.

  • Alternatively, Outfox the Market has a 12-month fix that's 14% below the current Price Cap and with no exit fees you can switch away if a better deal comes along.

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 Stick or switch your energy tariff – what are your options? guide and our Is it time to fix your energy? guide.

What other energy suppliers are doing to help customers this winter

Several energy suppliers have relaunched schemes that pay customers to cut their electricity use at peak times, as part of an ongoing 'demand flexibility service' scheme by the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

You can find details about how these initiatives work, who's eligible and how you can sign up in our new Get paid to cut your energy use guide.

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