Martin Lewis says British Gas price freeze is a "sticking plaster" for those already massively overpaying

MONEYSAVINGEXPERT.COM

Cutting your costs, fighting your corner

For immediate release 10 February 2017

Responding to the news that Scottish Power will put up the price of its standard tariff by 8%, increasing its standard tariff from a typical £1,081 to £1,167, and that British Gas is extending its standard tariff price freeze at £1,044 until August Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, says:

“Undoubtedly the price pressure is upward right now due to the increase in wholesale prices, the weakness of the pound and the added burden of smart meters. But that’s cold comfort for the millions of people facing massive above-inflation increases in their gas and electricity bill.

“With Scottish Power joining Npower and EDF, it’s now very clear the rest of the big six will follow suit at some point. The British Gas sticking plaster of a freeze is good news as it does provide some temporary respite, though again, unless there are major shifts in the world market it is virtually unthinkable that a rise won’t happen eventually.

“The most important message for all customers, including British Gas, is if you are on your company’s standard tariff, you are massively overpaying. For those with companies who’ve announced price hikes, after those hikes you will be overpaying on average by £311 or more than the cheapest deals on the market for the same gas, same electricity and same safety. Not only that, those cheapest deals are fixed rates so you’re guaranteed not to face price hikes for at least a year.

“Even with British Gas, it’s important to remember the price you’re being frozen on is its already expensive standard tariff. If you are willing to switch elsewhere with typical use you can save £210 a year with the cheapest deal on the market. It’s also worth remembering British Gas operates Sainsbury’s Energy, which is just British Gas under a different name. Often Sainsbury’s Energy substantially undercuts British Gas’ main price – it doesn’t right now, but if British Gas customers switch across to it, it will pay them £100 in vouchers for doing so. So you’ll get exactly the same as you’re on, the price freeze still applies and you make 100 quid.”

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Katie Watts

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katie.watts@moneysavingexpert.com

About MoneySavingExpert.com: MoneySavingExpert.com is dedicated to cutting consumers’ bills and fighting their corner. The free-to-use consumer finance help resource aims to show people how to save money on anything and everything, and campaigns for financial justice. Set up in 2003 for just £100, its free-to-use, ethical stance quickly made it the UK’s biggest independent money website, according to internet ranking site Alexa.com, and the number one ‘Business and Finance – Business Information’ site, according to Hitwise. It has more than 12 million people opted-in to receive the weekly Martin’s Money Tips email, and more than 14 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 24 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC.

About Martin Lewis: Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is the journalist and consumer campaigner who created MoneySavingExpert.com, the UK’s biggest money website. He’s the UK’s most internet-searched man, Citizens Advice’s Consumer Champion of the Year, and has spearheaded major financial justice campaigns including bank charges reclaiming (over six million template letters downloaded) and PPI reclaiming (over five million) and a successful large-scale campaign to get financial education in schools. He has his own prime-time ITV programme, The Martin Lewis Money Show, as well as regular slots as resident expert on Good Morning Britain, This Morning and Radio 5 Live, among others.He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014.