British Gas won't give best deal to customers

British Gas won't give best deal
8 June 2016

If you want the cheapest energy deal from British Gas, you better not be a loyal customer who has given them money for years, because their cheapest tariff is only available to new customers.

Of course, they're not the first company to try and tempt customers into the fray with a cheap offer for newbies, but as a practice, it is still rotten.

British Gas launched a gas and electricity tariff, which will cost you £749 a year, but if you're an existing customer, the cheapest deal on gas and electricity is £1,019.

That's £270 a year more than Mr Johnny Comelately.

Here's another kick in the pants - Ofgem, the energy regulator, said that they won't take any action on businesses who use this tactic, even though it technically breaks regulation rules.

After a pledge from the government, the rules were changed so that energy companies would have to offer existing customers the lowest prices.

However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) who have more power than Ofgem said that they're looking at getting rid of this rule, because they think it'll encourage competition in the sector.

The CMA said in a report: "We propose to modify the gas and electricity standard licence conditions to remove... the prohibition against tariffs exclusive to new/existing customers."

Mark Todd, co-founder of Energyhelpline, told TiM: 'This is the start of a worrying trend. This practice was banned in 2012 because it isn't fair on customers — yet here we are again. Households will need to switch every year or even twice a year to get the best deal."

A spokesperson for the CMA says: "We have a situation where millions of customers pay too much for their energy because they stay with their current provider and are stuck on the most expensive tariff."

"Offers for new customers are one way — as seen in other markets — that you can encourage people to switch."

"Limiting the ability for suppliers to win customers from other suppliers restricts competition when we need more of it. We haven't finished our investigation yet so this is still just a proposal."

You can check out comparison sites for the cheapest deals, but as they can fudge their results if they run promotions for energy companies, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is wholly confusing.

Some smaller companies are actually offering the cheapest energy deals right now, and you can check some of them out by clicking here.

TOPICS:   Utilities

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