As its name suggests, British Gas has a name that suggests it is British owned and operated. It’s still the biggest energy company across the UK and is believed to supply around nine million homes.
The company is an affiliate of Centrica an international energy and service company that also has utility providers in Ireland. Republic of Ireland. It has taken on customers of Robin Hood Energy, People’s Energy as well as other smaller companies when they had to stop trading.
It’s referred to in the UK as Scottish Gas in Scotland and says it will bring Britain the smooth-running homes of today and the future’. In addition to electricity and gas it also sells boilers, smart home items under the Hive brand, as well as HomeCare insurance.
The British Gas Rewards scheme gives customers personalised offers, which could include films on Sky or other channels, trips to UK attractions Tickets to live shows at The O2, Wilbur the Penguin toys and restaurant vouchers.
The customers can get British Gas’ British Gas app on iOS and Android devices. With the app, you can communicate meter readings and pay bills in a couple of taps. Smart meter customers can make budgets and keep track of their energy usage.
British Gas customer review
British Gas is ranked joint 10th with Boost Energy among the 16 energy companies rated by 10,197 customers during the annual Which? customer survey.
A rating of just 52% implies this British Gas sits in the lowest rung of the table. Plenty of other providers finished higher on customer score such as Octopus Energy (73%) and Utility Warehouse (67%).
British Gas was rated an average three stars for half of the measures in our survey and just two stars for the other part, which included the clarity of its payments as well as its communications to customers regarding the energy market.
Comments from customers are mixed. One customer complained of’very poor customer service and hard to reach and difficult to reach’. However, another loyal customer was pleased, stating “I’ve been with them over several years and am extremely satisfied with the services that they provide’.
Which? verdict on British Gas
The results of the survey indicate that the accuracy of payments is fairly high.
Cons Pros: Average rating for customer service from our survey of customers; not among the best in providing support to vulnerable customers.
Our British Gas supplier assessment
In November 2022 we reviewed three aspects of suppliers’ business practices and procedures in dealing with complaints, how well they carry out their customer service and how they aid those who are vulnerable, including those who pay in advance and those who face financial hardship.
This was accomplished by combining our own assessments and the responses to a survey we sent out to suppliers.
British Gas received a mediocre score of 5 out of 10 for its performance in handling complaints, and a better 17-out of 23 in our evaluation of the support it provides to vulnerable customers.
British Gas customer service
British Gas was rated an average of three stars for its customer service by customers. It wasn’t the only one – six others, including EDF Energy and Eon Next also received three stars.
In our study the majority from British Gas customers said its service was good – more than those of the other major providers, but lower than 63% of customers who surveyed Utility Warehouse.
It performed better in our supplier assessment of its customer service, which included taking a look at the capacities, contact options, hours of operation and self-service assistance with a score of 13 points out of 17.
British Gas in the energy crisis
British Gas customers were fairly dissatisfied with the information they provided on the changing costs of energy in our study, giving it with a score of three stars, and even less so in its clarity of communication about the energy market and energy prices, which received only two stars.
British Gas announced that it would suspend force-fitting prepayment meters until “at least following winter’ following a report that found it to be imposing these meters on customers who are vulnerable.
British Gas Energy Trust
The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2004 to assist customers having difficulty paying their bill whether you are a customer of British Gas or another supplier. It provides advice and offers grants to qualified applicants to clear their energy debt.
British Gas common complaints
Head on over to livechatfinder.net for British Gas Live Chat.
We were able to survey British Gas customers, 5 percent indicated that they’d last called the supplier to make an inquiry.
The most popular complaint customers had to British Gas was about a issue with their bill 55 percent of those who complained complained about this. This was followed by complaints about the price of energy (33%) in addition to the quality of their meters (22 percentage).
If you sign up to British Gas with a prepayment meter?
Yes. British Gas pay-as-you-go customers can top up at a Post Office or Payzone outlet. A note on the company’s website states that you’ll need to top up at the minimum PS5, and you’ll always need to top up to the nearest pound.’
It’s installing smart prepayment meters. Customers with these meters are able to top up using British Gas’s website, its app or British Gas website, its application or an automated payment phone line.
British Gas offers PS10 emergency credit for those who run out of energy but can’t refill. Friendly Credit is activated by default in the event that you have a smart meter or non-smart electric meter and run out of credit between 6pm and 9am, or on a Sunday or bank holiday. You are also able to make emergency credit available at other time slots using your smart meter in-home display, your card or key with an old-fashioned meters.
Every energy used will be noted as debt on your meter and you’ll have to pay it back the next time you top it up.
The government is giving every household within Great Britain with an electricity supply PS400 savings on their electricity bills spread over six months beginning in October 2022 to March 2023, through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
If you are prepay customer using an intelligent meter, discounts will be automatically applied to your credit each month. Customers with traditional prepayment meters will receive vouchers by mail.
Does British Gas sell renewable energy?
British Gas buys some of the electricity generated by renewable sources that it sells directly from generators, as well in purchasing certificates to match the energy usage of its customers.
Renewable electricity proportions according to the 2021/22 British Gas energy mix. Other responses based on information from suppliers in August as well as September of 2022.
In the months of August and September 2022, we surveyed energy companies to provide information on various sustainability-related criteria. We granted them points based upon their responses and information that they publish on their websites, which includes an annual Fuel Mix Disclosure (FMD). Some of the factors we assessed were how much of the energy they offer is renewable, as well as the extent to which they generate renewable energy or buy it directly from generators.
In general British Gas’ electricity fuel mix for 2021/22 consisted of 48% renewable, and 28% nuclear (from its participation in EDF Energy’s nuclear plants).
British Gas buys 0.4% of the renewable power its domestic customers use directly from generators, and a further 0.4 percent is provided by REGO certificates. More than two thirds (70%) is tied to renewable power generated outside the UK or in Europe by using Guarantees of Origin (GoOs).
Customers who buy British Gas’ Green Future Tariff get their electricity usage match with renewable sources of production within the UK.
In our study of energy companies on their green quality in November 2022 British Gas scored 35%. This places it at the bottom of our table of 21 companies we rated.
British Gas in the news
British Gas in 2023
February: British Gas said it will stop fitting prepayment meters until ‘at least at the very least, after winter’. A third-party company employed to British Gas to persue customer insolvencies imposed prepayment meters to people who were vulnerable, according to an article.
British Gas in 2022
December, British Gas launched a new initiative to test paying customers for reducing their energy consumption during National Grid’s “turn-down” events. The company said it will be sending emails to more than 100,000 smart meter customers to participate in the initial trial. It will pay them approximately PS4 for each unit of electricity saved compared to the amount the typically use.
April: The energy provider has been called on by YourMoney.com to apologize following customers who were former People’s Energy and Neon Reef customers who switched to it by the Supplier of Last Resort process said they received erroneous emails regarding the cost they’d pay for their energy use. YourMoney.com submitted evidence to Ofgem and the Energy Ombudsman, calling on them to urgently look into the issue.
The month of February. British Gas set up an initiative to safeguard the PS294m it holds in credit balances via direct debits to customers. The money will be held in a bank account distinct from the funds used by the company for its day-to-day operations.
British Gas in 2021
December: The provider has announced that its newer brand, British Gas Evolve, was changing it’s name back change to British Gas.
October: British Gas became the new supplier of Bluegreen Energy, Neon Reef, Social Energy and Zebra Power customers, after the smaller firms had stopped trading.
September The customers of MoneyPlus Energy, People’s Energy and PFP Energy were moved to British Gas after the smaller suppliers have stopped trading. Around 441,000 customers switched from PFP Energy to British Gas.
March: British Gas will begin the supply of electricity and gas to Nabuh Energy’s 36,000 customers after it purchased the smaller company.