On the announcement that British Gas is to scrap standard variable tariffs (SVTs), Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com said:
“British Gas is promoting this as a radical pro-consumer move.Yet in truth this could just be smoke and mirrors.Instead of a default standard variable tariff people move to when the deal they chose ends, it will now have a default standard fixed term tariff. Yet that could mean anything at any price.For example in the past British Gas fixed-rate deals have often been set at the same price as its standard rate. If it rolled people onto one of those, that would mean no saving at all, except it would forestall a price hike for the short term.
“The good news about this though is it will hopefully lead to people doing an annual energy renewal, much like with car or home insurance.Having a point each year where you must 'renew' your tariff could encourage some to switch elsewhere, though British Gas customers are notoriously sticky.”
Notes to editors
· Read the full story at MoneySavingExpert.com.
· See Martin’s Facebook post on the announcement for further comments.
· Spokespeople are available for broadcast interviews and further comment on request.
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About Martin Lewis: Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is the journalist and consumer campaigner who created MoneySavingExpert.com and is now the site’s Executive Chair. Martin also founded and chairs the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity.
He’s the UK’s most-googled man, Citizens Advice’s Consumer Champion of the Year, and has spearheaded major financial justice campaigns including bank charges reclaiming (over seven million template letters downloaded), PPI reclaiming (over six 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 a range of other regular media slots. He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014.
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. It was set up in 2003 for just £100, and 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 MSE’s Money Tips email, and more than 16 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 28 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC.