Clear and Simple Online Variable Tariffs from British Gas
British Gas have simplified their tariffs so instead of 20 or 30 to choose from in effect there are just four. Their standard, two discounted versions and a fixed price tariff. Are these for you ? Find out in our online guide.
The energy industry has come under fire from many quarters not only for increasing rates when wholesale prices are static or reducing but also for confusion in their tariff options. Complaints to Ofgem seem to centre around confusing tariffs and the volume of options available to residential customers.
So British Gas are the first company to introduce easy to follow options for their customers. They still offer the lowest standard tariff (now called clear and simple) in the market place but have other options now. These are basically two types of tariffs – a fixed priced and variable price although additional discounts are available if you manage your account online and/ or pay via monthly direct debit.
British Gas Tariff Options
Clear and Simple Tariff
The clear and simple tariff is just that. It’s their entry level tariff and can be purchased by most people as you don’t need to pay by direct debit (although additional discounts apply) but it doesn’t come with Energy Smart; their online account management service. With Clear and Simple you get :
- A daily standing charge and a variable unit price
- A discount of £15 per year if you take dual fuels (ie: gas and electricity)
- An additional 6% discount if you pay via direct debit
- No cancellation fees so you are free to move tariff at any time
Many thousands of people take this tariff in the UK and it’s one of the most popular. However, there are better deals on the market place even from British Gas – see below.
Online Variable Tariff
This tariff is the same as the clear and simple but has an additional 6% discount over the prices because online account management is mandatory. This means you enter your meter readings online so that your bill is always 100% accurate. With energy smart you also receive a free energy monitor to check your electricity usage in real time.
- 6% discount from the Clear and Simple tariff
- Online account management with Energy Smart
- Free energy monitor which could reduce your consumption by 12%
- No exit fees
If you want to stay with British Gas this is the tariff we recommend. If you don’t want online account management then see the next option.
Discount Variable Tariff
This provides an additional 4% discount over the Clear and Simple tariff and you don’t need to sign up to the online Energy Smart management scheme.
- 4% discount over the Clear and Simple tariff
- No online account management required
- No exit penalties
How much will they cost ?
Generally British Gas targets their pricing to be the cheapest variable (standard) tariff in the market place and this has been the same for many years. All power companies are required to show prices on average demand and the figures used from Ofgem are electricity at 3,300 kWh per year and gas at 16,500. The figures quoted include VAT at 5% and payments via direct debit.
Use these figures with caution as really they are there to compare tariffs across all companies. To get an accurate value for your home you should get a quote using your own consumption data or monthly billing data. The average costs are as follows :
- Clear and simple standard £99 per month
- Online variable £93 per month
- Discount variable £95 per month
- Fixed tariff £106 per month
These prices are for a dual fuel tariff (ie: Taking electric and gas from the same provider).
All of these tariffs are built from a daily standing charge then either a fixed or variable charge per unit of energy used. Most energy companies structure their deals this way for residential customers in the UK.