British Gas supplier review and information

Last updated: 9 September 2020

In this guide you’ll find the following answers to your British Gas-related questions:

  • What are the current British Gas tariffs?

  • What smart home deals does British Gas offer?

  • Can I get a British Gas smart meter?

  • How does British Gas provision new-build properties?

  • What’s the British Gas rewards programme?

  • Is British Gas the right provider for me?

British Gas company profile

  • Founded: 1812 (as Gas Light and Coke Company), 1997 (as subsidiary of Centrica plc)

  • HQ: Staines-upon-Thames, United Kingdom

  • Total customers: 11 million+

  • UK ranking: 1

The British Gas business has been in existence for over 200 years, making it the UK’s oldest gas and electricity provider. This big six energy supplier is firmly established as a trusted option and offers plenty of incentives through the British Gas rewards programme.

British Gas is the largest energy supplier in the UK, providing gas to over 11 million homes and electricity to over six million. It’s known as Nwy Prydain in Wales and Scottish Gas in Scotland. British Gas is the trading name of FTSE 100 energy company Centrica plc, formed in 1997. 

Today, British Gas is known for its smart meters, including Hive products, as well as its boiler cover and competitive fixed rate tariffs

What's the history of British Gas?

The company was founded in 1812, when the Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC) was established as the world’s first public utility, under approval from King George III. Within 15 years, GLCC supplied gas to 70,000 streetlights in London and by 1914 it was supplying gas to WWI munitions factories. It thrived for 136 years, expanding into the growing domestic services market before the British coal industry was nationalised in 1947. The Gas Act of 1948 spelled the end of the GLCC, which became the Gas Council. British Gas Corporation was founded in 1972, before the industry was privatised once more and it became British Gas plc. 

In 1997 British Gas demerged into two companies, one of which was Centrica plc, to supply the domestic market with gas and electricity. Despite its proud history (the company celebrated its 200th birthday in 2012), British Gas embraces modern technology: it started offering smart meters in 2009.

What are the current British Gas tariffs?

Given its position as the country’s largest energy supplier, it’s no surprise that British Gas offers a wide variety of tariffs. These are divided into plans offering both fixed-rate and variable tariffs, along with environmentally-friendly options as well as special deals for those who drive electric vehicles

TariffHomeEnergy Secure Mar 2022Energy with Boiler Cover Dec 2021 v2Green Future Mar 2022Electric Drivers Nov 2021Standard VariableSafeguard PAYG
Fixed?Until 31st March 2022Until 31st December 2021Until 31st March 2022Until 30th November 2021NoNo
Available to PAYG customers?NoNoNoNoNoYes
Early exit fee?£40 per fuel£30 per fuel£40 per fuel£40 per fuelNoneNone
Key features100% renewable electricityBoiler & Controls Breakdown Cover for first 12 months included (then £2.50/month)100% renewable energy and 6% renewable gas (other 94% is carbon-neutral)Designed for users of electric vehicles – lower prices to charge overnight (12-5am); free smart meter installation if needed; 100% renewable electricity30 days’ notice of price changes; Ofgem price cap applies to this tariffFor Pay As You Go customers only

The most up-to-date plans and deals can – of course – be found on energy comparison sites

What smart home deals does British Gas offer?

British Gas has partnered with Hive, a fellow subsidiary of Centrica, to offer its customers exclusive deals on Hive’s range of smart home products and services designed to boost efficiency within the home. British Gas engineers can set up Hive for you and explain how everything works as part of its professional installation service. 

Can I get a British Gas smart meter?

British Gas was at the vanguard of the push to get smart meters into British households, and it’s happy to install a meter free of charge in supported homes. It offers both regular smart meters and Smart PAYG+ meters for customers with prepayment meters.

Like most smart meters, these don’t simply send British Gas meter readings automatically to provide you with more accurate, up-to-date bills; they also come with a smart energy monitor that you use to monitor your energy usage in real-time. An interactive online tool shows these figures in a user-friendly format, to help you figure out how to make your home more efficient. Smart PAYG meters provide you with the added benefit of being able to top up your meter without leaving your home via the British Gas app or website.

Not all homes may (yet) be capable of working with a smart meter. If you live in a remote area, or there’s an unusual layout between gas and electric meters, you may not be eligible just yet. To find out if you’re able to have a smart meter installed, log into your British Gas My Account page online. 

How does British Gas provision new-build properties?

Are you moving into a newly constructed home? British Gas supplies new-build properties with electricity, delivers infrastructure to new developments, and offers smart meters right from the start. It can also deliver new meters to developments with built-in infrastructure. To install a meter in your new build home, you contact British Gas on 0333 202 9580, with the following information to hand:

  • Your address and postcode

  • Your Electricity Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN)

  • Your Gas Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)

With some new builds, the developer will set up an account to install infrastructure and meters into each home. They can then change the ownership on the account to the homebuyer’s name. If you’ve just taken control of an existing account, it’s worth comparing energy plans to be sure you’re on the best one for your family. 

What’s the British Gas Rewards programme?

British Gas offers a rewards programme called, simply, Rewards. It’s open to all British Gas home energy or services customers aged 16 years or older, who live in England, Wales or Scotland. Once you’ve registered online, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Discounts on restaurant meals, family days out, and additional British Gas products

  • Giveaways like free movie nights, ice cream and drinks as well as free energy on loyalty days

  • Prize draws, where your name is entered into prize draws for concerts, holidays, and other prizes

Is British Gas the right provider for me? 

If you’re thinking about becoming a new customer at British Gas, there are several benefits to signing up with the country’s largest energy supplier. Its size allows it to provide a wider range of plans to customers, whether you’re mainly interested in cheap pricing or want to do your bit for the environment. Due to the partnership with Hive and its commitment to rolling out smart meters, British Gas is also a great choice for those interested in using the latest technology in their homes.

Essentially, if you want to have access to the latest technology, enjoy being able to control your energy use with an app, and prefer to choose from a wide selection of tariffs, British Gas could be a good fit. It’s also easy to switch at any point should you change your mind. You’ll have a 14-day grace period to cancel your new plan without penalty after enrolment