British Gas pledges to simplify tariffs

BRITISH Gas has said it is simplifying its tariffs after admitting customers were being baffled by the current system.

All customers would be able to choose between two tariffs – variable and fixed – under the shake-up. Energy industry regulator Ofgem earlier this year told energy companies they must offer simpler billing.

The British Gas overhaul would allow people to choose a fixed price over a set period of time, or a price that varied at the company’s discretion. However, there would be different prices charged dependent on factors such as how customers’ paid. For example, paying by direct debit with online bills would be cheaper than receiving a paper bill and paying by cheque.

British Gas, owned by Centrica, is sending a letter to all its customers explaining its new policy. In the letter managing director Phil Bentley says: “It is clear that we need to make things better for our customers.

“To make sure we do that, I am committed to having an honest conversation with [them].”

Earlier this week, E.On said that it would change its systems while other major energy suppliers have said they are working towards simplifying their tariffs.

Consumers tell us they want a simpler, more competitive energy market,” said Ian Marlee of Ofgem.