British Gas reviews, tariffs & HomeCare cover
With its origins back in the early nineteenth century, British Gas is still the UK’s largest and best-known energy provider. It supplies gas and electricity to over 12 million customers and commands a share of about 20% of the electricity market. Is it still the best choice today?
British Gas Energy Reviews
British Gas energy reviews have often cast an unflattering light on the company’s service, with a long history of exoduses as a result of increases in the price and poor customer service. A look at customer reviews now, however, will surprise the savvy consumer who is used to hearing horror stories about British Gas and its Big Six rivals.
Out of a total of almost 40,000 British Gas energy reviews on the consumer review site Trustpilot, almost two-thirds of reviewers report having had a positive experience with the company. This has led to a TrustScore of 3.7 out of 5 stars - a very respectable score when compared with other members of the UK’s Big Six suppliers.
Positive reviews for British Gas tend to be from customers who have found a good deal with the provider and found the process of switching to be quick and easy. Here is a fairly representative example:
The whole process of transferring providers is incredibly easy. The only drawback to switching is that my smart meters installed by previous providers are not compatible with B Gas systems. Back to me providing manual readings again, ho-hum! Reason for switching is a cheaper set of bills hopefully.
It’s not resounding praise but reflects the wider tone of British Gas energy reviews, which describe an improving (though far from perfect) company. Quick and efficient visits from engineers are frequently cited in five-star reviews for British Gas, but customers with more than one issue say that it’s impossible to get the engineer to stick around to look at something that isn’t on their task-sheet.
Need more than one issue fixed?If you’re experiencing more than one problem, make sure you specify everything you want fixing over the phone so that each issue can be added to the engineer’s task-sheet. They will only look at what is written down and you’ll waste time having to book another appointment if you leave anything out.
As we’ve mentioned before, British Gas reviews are by no means all sunshine and roses, and almost a third of all reviews reflect this negativity. Getting in touch with its customer service team over the phone is the source of many complaints, which cite unhelpful agents and difficulty getting hold of a person at all for their ire:
Worst company I have had the displeasure of dealing with. Tried for weeks to resolve a complaint. Must've called them 10 times, promised managers will call me back, nothing. Got told something different from everyone I spoke with.
It’s safe to say British Gas could still stand to step it up in the customer service department, which seems to be a frequent offender. Generally, however, it seems to be a provider that is upping its game, albeit with a few creases still to iron out. We hope to see this upward trend continue and the millions of British Gas customers get the service they deserve!
British Gas tariffs
British Gas tariffs are many and varied, and what you need and how much you’ll pay will be different depending on where you live, the way you use energy and how much energy you use. We have a particular interest in its Green Future tariff, of course:
Green Future tariff
British Gas Green Future is called this because it says it matches 100% of the electricity and 6% of the gas used on this tariff with renewable sources. It also offsets the carbon footprint of the other 94% of the gas used by supporting carbon emission reduction projects in developing countries.
Green Future can be paid for by direct debit, cash, cheque or payment card. As with other British Gas tariffs, however, your price may vary depending on your payment method. Its prices are fixed until March 2021, however, so you can be sure that the one you sign up for won’t go up without notice from British Gas.
Standard variable tariff
The standard variable tariff is the deal that British Gas tariffs revert to once the term on your initial contract is up. This is assuming, of course, you do nothing about it once your term ends. It charges you a daily standing charge and a unit rate for each fuel you use, which both tend to be high, as well as VAT.
Standard variable tariffs, as their name suggests, are also susceptible to price changes - British Gas can put them up as it pleases by giving you 30 days’ notice. They are the worst tariffs for you to be on and most people don’t realise they are on it or know that they could leave for a better deal for free!
What is the cheapest tariff for British Gas?
If you’re just after the cheapest British Gas tariff available, you’ll have a difficult time finding it without getting a quote from them. Its website does not at the time of writing have a working link to find a list of prices for its tariffs, nor is its online quote function working to provide a quick quote.
To get a quote for your British Gas tariff, you’ll have to go by the old-fashioned route and give British Gas’s sales team a call. Alternatively, you could let us compare deals for you and help you make the switch today!
Warm home discount
British Gas does indeed offer the Warm Home Discount both to those who qualify for the Core Group and those who are eligible for the Broader Group. The scheme offers a one-off discount of £140 to those who most need it in England, Scotland and Wales.
Customers who qualify for the Core Group will be notified by the relevant government department that the amount has been credited to their account and will be dedicated from their bill. Those who think they might be eligible under the Broader Group, however, will have to apply year by year, which they can do from the early autumn.
Want to be notified when the application window opens?To sign up to be notified when the application process for the Broader Group is open, you can go to the British Gas website’s Warm Home Discount section and leave your mobile number. You will then receive a text to remind you to send in your application.
British Gas HomeCare
British Gas HomeCare is a service offered by British Gas to provide cover for your boiler or heating system. It’s intended to help households deal with the cost of maintenance, services and repairs, and offers four levels of cover. They are:
- British Gas HomeCare One
- British Gas HomeCare Two
- British Gas HomeCare Three
- British Gas HomeCare Four
What you end up paying for each of these will depend on where you live in the UK and whether or not you decide to include an excess payment of £60 as part of your cover. If you decide to get cover without an excess charge, at least half of British Gas customers will pay the following for their deal:
|Cover||Cost (one-off annual payment)||Cost (12 monthly instalments)|
*These prices are a guide and pricing may differ based on where you are.
It’s worth noting that these prices are only fixed for 12 months and that after this British Gas are at liberty to put up the prices as much as they want, which they’ve been accused of doing several times in the past.
All policies come with an annual boiler service and access to British Gas’s customer helpline, which is available 24/7, as well as for boiler repairs and accidental damage. For central heating cover, however, you’ll have to go for at least HomCare Two and for plumbing and drains cover you’ll have to fork out for at least HomeCare Three.
We recommend looking into each plan in detail on the British Gas website’s HomeCare section and deciding what you will need before signing up to a plan. Its plans can be personalised a good deal if you’re willing to put up the cash - one of the biggest criticisms British Gas customers have of HomeCare is that it can be seriously expensive to get comprehensive cover.
British Gas login
British Gas customers can log in to manage their account either via its website or the British Gas app, which is available for iOS or Android devices. Here’s a list of features available on the app:
- Book an engineer (if you have HomeCare cover)
- Book one-off boiler repairs (with or without cover)
- Track and manage your engineer appointments
- Submit your meter readings for more accurate bills
- Book your annual boiler service
- Top up your smart meter (prepayment customers)
- Get handy in-app notifications and reminders
- View and pay bills quickly and securely
- Stay on top of your spending with energy budgets
- Chat to an adviser for help
- Get HomeCare cover to avoid unexpected repair bills
- Protect your plumbing, electrical system and kitchen appliances
- Get discounts, giveaways and prizes with rewards
- See your live energy usage (if you have a Trio II Smart Energy Monitor)
- Switch your energy tariff
Reviews for the app suggest that your British Gas login experience won’t necessarily be as smooth as the long list of features might suggest. Many reviewers, both in the App Store and Google Play store, report that continuous updates mean that they have to keep putting in their personal details over and over again,
This detail has left many frustrated with the app overall and resulted in scores of 3.1 out of 5 for Google users and 2.7 out of 5 for Apple users. There are plenty of positive reviews to balance these, however, so it seems that this and a few minor details would go a long way to improving user experience.
British Gas login help
Having trouble with your British Gas login? If you’re already a British Gas customer, you just need to enter the email address that you signed up with and you’ll be taken to the next page, where you either enter the password you set on registering or are able to set a password if it’s the first time you’re logging in.
If you can’t remember your British Gas login details, such as your password, you can reset it by providing a few details from your monthly bill. A link will be sent to your email address which you can click on to reset your password to a new one - make sure you pick one you’ll remember this time!
British Gas smart meters
British Gas offers a range of smart meters to its customers, putting them forward as the best way for you to keep an eye on your energy spending. Here’s why British Gas smart meters come recommended:
- They help you cut costs by making you more aware of the energy you’re using around your home.
- They save you time by automatically sending your meter readings to British Gas so you get more accurate bills without having to lift a finger.
- They put you in control by allowing you to set an energy budget and getting your smart monitor to let you know if you’re on track – helping you to change habits and lower your bills.
For hints and tips on how to get the most out of your smart meter, go to the British Gas website, where you’ll find a range of handy guides.
British Gas smart meter top-up
Pay as you go customers can top-up their British Gas smart meter in various ways. The main thing you’ll need is your smart card number, which you’ll find in the pack left by the engineer when your meter was installed. Here are the ways you can do your British Gas smart meter top-up:
- Via the app – download it to top-up easily whenever you want.
- On the British Gas website – with your online account.
- At designated shops – swipe your smart card at a local Payzone outlet or Post Office.
- By phone – call the British Gas support team and select option 1.
The British Gas website has more help on how to top-up on its website, including a guide on how to add your gas top up using your smart energy monitor.
How do I speak to a human at British Gas?
If you’re looking to get in touch with someone at British Gas, you can find the numbers you’ll need in our handy table below. Make sure you check the opening hours for the department you want to contact before calling!
|Department||Phone number||Opening hours|
|Sales department||0333 202 9505||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturdays 8am to 6pm|
|Account inquiries||0333 202 9201||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturdays 8am to 6pm; Sundays 10am to 4pm|
|Gas & electricity complaints||0333 202 9532||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturdays 8am to 6pm|
|Pay As You Go inquiries||0330 100 0303||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturdays 8am to 6pm|
|Moving home||0333 202 9802||Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturdays 8am to 6pm; Sundays 9am to 4pm|
You can find many more contact details, such as HomeCare numbers as well as numbers for Textphone and calls from abroad, on the British Gas website. If you’d rather not wait around over the phone, you can also get in touch via British Gas’s online chat service or by filling out the online complaints form on the website.
Experiencing a gas or electricity emergency?In case of an emergency, you should contact the National Grid’s gas and electricity emergency line on 0800 111 999. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Looking for a British Gas email address instead? You can email British Gas’s customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org and get your issue addressed this way if you prefer.