British Gas default tariffs to increase due to rising wholesale energy and policy

By Mark Hodges
CEO, Centrica Consumer

We have today reluctantly announced plans for an increase in our standard variable tariff (SVT) from 29 May 2018. We fully understand that any price increase adds extra pressure on customers’ household bills. We stopped selling the SVT, which has no end date, on 31 March so it’s no longer available to new customers. We are also encouraging our existing customers on this tariff to choose one of our new fixed-term deals. And by the end of 2018 we hope over 1 million more customers will have chosen to move onto one of these alternative deals.

If you are still on this standard tariff, the price for a typical dual fuel customer will go up on average by £60 to £1,161 - £30 for gas and £30 for electricity.  

3.7 million of our customers on a fixed-term deal, on a prepayment meter or who are vulnerable will not be affected by this increase in our standard tariff. This increase is largely due to rising wholesale and policy costs which are beyond our control. These same pressures were cited by Ofgem when they increased the prepayment meter cap by just over £57 in April. Eleven other energy suppliers have also had to increase the price of their standard tariff recently due to rising wholesale and policy costs including the smart meter roll out and schemes to reduce carbon emissions. Government’s energy policies are important but they are also pushing up customers’ bills. We believe Government should level the playing field so the customers of all suppliers pay a fair share of energy policy costs. We continue to encourage Government to consider moving these costs out of energy bills altogether and into general taxation.

Seeing as we have now withdrawn our standard variable tariff, for customers who don’t make a decision when their existing deal comes to an end we have launched a 12-month default fixed-term tariff, the Temporary Tariff. This will increase by £60 to £1136, a £25 discount to our standard tariff. This is not a tariff we want customers to be on, we want our customers to look at our range of new fixed term offers and choose the deal that best suits their individual needs - whether it’s energy supply with our Hive connected home products, a one or two year fixed-term deal or energy supply with boiler maintenance. Below we have a table showing the new offers we have on the market and those launching within the next six weeks. We are continuously testing new offers to find out what our customers want to satisfy their changing needs.

We continue to sign up thousands of customers per week to British Gas Rewards, our programme to reward loyalty and improve engagement. Offers launched so far include free energy days, tickets for entertainment venues and free boiler services. We have nearly 900,000 members to date.

Any customer concerned about their energy bill should contact us on 0800 048 0404 or visit

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