As its name suggests, British Gas has a name that suggests it is British owned and operated. It’s still the largest energy provider in the UK and is estimated to serve nearly nine million homes.
The company is an affiliate of Centrica which is a global energy and service company that also has utility providers for Ireland. Republic of Ireland. It has taken on customers of Robin Hood Energy, People’s Energy and other smaller businesses after they stopped trading.
It’s known under the title Scottish Gas in Scotland and claims to be bringing Britain the efficient homes of the present and of the future’. Apart from electricity and gas it also offers boilers, smart home items that are under the Hive brand, as well as HomeCare insurance.
The British Gas Rewards scheme provides customers with personalised offers, which could include films on Sky and days out at UK attractions tickets to live performances at The O2, Wilbur the Penguin toys and restaurant vouchers.
Clients can access British Gas’ British Gas app on iOS and Android devices. With the app, you can communicate the readings of your meter and pay for bills in a few taps. Smart meters users can establish budgets and monitor their energy usage.
British Gas customer review
British Gas is ranked joint 10th along with Boost Energy in the 16 energy companies assessed by 10,197 members of the public for the more than a year Which? customer survey.
A rating of just 52% signifies this British Gas sits in the bottom half in our ranking table. Many other companies finished better in terms of customer satisfaction like Octopus Energy (73%) and Utility Warehouse (67%).
British Gas was rated an average of three stars on half of the metrics during our survey, but only 2 stars in the remaining part, which included the clarity of its transactions and communications to customers regarding the energy market.
Customer feedback is mixed. One said, ‘very poor customer service and difficult to contact for help’, while a long-time customer was more pleased, saying ‘I’ve been with them for many years and have been extremely satisfied with the services provided’.
Which? verdict on British Gas
Positives: Survey results suggest that payments are fairly accurate
Cons Customer service ratings: Average from our survey of customers; not among the best for helping the most vulnerable customers
Our British Gas supplier assessment
In November 2022, we reviewed the three aspects that affect suppliers’ business practices and practices the way they handle complaints, how they provide their customers with service, and how they help those who are vulnerable, including customers who have prepayments and those in financial hardship.
We made this decision by combining our own evaluations and responses to a questionnaire we sent out to suppliers.
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British Gas received a mediocre score of 5 out of 10 for its performance in handling complaints, and a more impressive 17 out of 23 on our evaluation of support for its customers who are in need.
British Gas customer service
British Gas was rated an average of three stars for its customer service by customers. It’s not the only company that has been rated three stars. Six other companies, including EDF Energy and Eon Next also scored three stars.
In our survey we found that 47% Of British Gas customers said its service was satisfactory. This is more than those of the other big suppliers but a lot smaller than the 60% that were surveyed by Utility Warehouse.
It did better than we expected when we surveyed our supplier about its customer service, including looking at capacities, contact options, opening hours and self-service help which earned it a score of 13 out of 17.
British Gas in the energy crisis
British Gas customers were fairly unimpressed with the usefulness of its information on rising energy costs in our survey, rating it with three stars and less regarding the clarity of its communications about the market, where it received two stars.
British Gas announced that it would stop force-fitting prepayment meters until ‘at least after winter’ following a report that found it to be imposing prepayment meters on the most vulnerable of customers.
British Gas Energy Trust
The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity that was created in 2004 in order to assist customers who are having difficulty paying their bill whether the customer is British Gas or another supplier. It helps with advice and offers grants to qualified applicants who want to pay off their energy debt.
British Gas common complaints
We conducted a survey of British Gas customers, 5 percent indicated that they’d last called the company to lodge an inquiry.
The most frequently-reported complaint that customers complained to British Gas was about a issue with their bill 55 percent of customers who complained did so about this. The next most frequent complaints were about the price of energy (33 percent) and the accuracy of their meters (22 percent).
an you join British Gas with a prepayment meter?
Yes. British Gas pay-as-you-go customers can top up at the Post Office or Payzone outlet. A note on the company’s website states that you’ll need to top up minimum PS5, and you’ll always need to top up to the closest pounds.’
It’s installing smart prepayment meters. Customers with them can top up their account using this British Gas website, its app or an automated phone line.
British Gas offers PS10 emergency credit for those who run out of energy , but can’t top up. Friendly Credit can be activated automatically in the event that you have an electronic meter, or a non-smart electric meter , and you run through credit in the period between the hours of 6pm and 9am, or on a weekend or bank holiday. You are also able to use emergency credit at other dates using your smartmeter in-home display, your card or key with an old-fashioned meters.
The energy you use will be recorded as debt on your meter. You’ll be able to repay it the next time you refill your account.
The government is giving every household in Great Britain with an electricity supply a PS400 discounted energy bills , spread over six months starting in October 2022 until March 2023 under their Energy Bills Support Scheme.
If you are prepay customer using smart meters, discounts will be automatically applied as credit each month. Customers with conventional prepayment meters will receive vouchers via post.
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 by purchasing certificates to reflect the energy usage of its customers.
Proportion of renewable electricity according in British Gas’ 2021-2022 fuel mix. Other responses based on information provided by suppliers in the months of August and September 2022.
In the months of August and September 2022, we surveyed energy companies for information on various sustainability standards. We gave them points based on their responses as well as information they published on their websites, such as their annual Fuel Mix Disclosure (FMD). Some of the factors we assessed were the amount of energy they provide is renewable and whether they produce renewable energy themselves or purchase direct from the generators.
The overall British Gas’ electricity fuel mix for the year 2021/22 comprised 48% of renewable, and 28 percent nuclear (from its portion of EDF Energy’s nuclear power plants).
British Gas buys 0.4% of the renewable electricity its domestic customers consume directly from generators. A further 0.4 percent is supplemented with REGO certificates. More than two thirds (70 percent) is matched to renewable power that is generated outside the UK or in Europe by using Guarantees of Origin (GoOs).
Customers who purchase British Gas’ Green Future Tariff are able to have their electricity consumption in line with renewable sources of electricity generation throughout the UK.
We compared energy companies on their green certifications in November 2022, British Gas scored 35%. This places it at the bottom of our table of 21 companies we assessed.
British Gas in the news
British Gas in 2023
The month of February. British Gas said it would not force-fit prepayment meters until “at the very least at the very least, after winter’. A third-party firm used by British Gas to persue customer insolvencies imposed prepayment meters to vulnerable customers, according to the report.
British Gas in 2022
December: British Gas launched a new initiative to test paying customers for reducing their energy usage during National Grid’s ‘turn-down’ events. It announced that it would be sending emails to more than 100,000 smart meter customers to sign up for the trial and they would be paid around PS4 per unit of electricity saved when compared to the amount they typically use.
April: The provider of energy has been asked by YourMoney.com to apologize following former People’s Energy and Neon Reef customers who were moved to it through the Supplier of Last Resort process said they received erroneous emails about the price they would pay for their energy use. YourMoney.com presented evidence to Ofgem and the Energy Ombudsman, calling on them to immediately examine the matter.
February: British Gas set up an initiative to safeguard the PS294m it has in credit balances through direct debits of its customers. The money will be held in a bank account distinct from the funds used by the company to run its day-to-day business.
British Gas in 2021
December: The company announced that its newer brand, British Gas Evolve, changed their name from British Gas change to British Gas.
December: British Gas became the new supplier of Bluegreen Energy, Neon Reef, Social Energy and Zebra Power customers when the smaller firms have ceased trading.
September October: Customers who were customers of MoneyPlus Energy, People’s Energy and PFP Energy were moved to British Gas after the smaller suppliers have stopped trading. Total, about 441,000 customers moved over to British Gas.
April British Gas will begin the supply of electricity and gas to Nabuh Energy’s 36,000 customers after it purchased the smaller company.