British Gas offers £50 help with winter energy bills

17 January 2011

British Gas has announced it will help customers who struggle to pay their energy bills by offering them a £50 discount on their winter bill.

The offer will apply to around 340,000 households who use the suppliers Essentials energy tariff and the payment will be made as a credit on their bill. Prepayment customers will receive a credit on their meter.

British Gas has also pledged to invest £20 million into its charity, the British Gas Energy Trust, which was created to help households who are struggling to pay their bills.

The company, along with fellow suppliers, have been criticised for hiking energy bills over the cold winter and failing to reflect reductions in the wholesale price of gas and electricity in their pricing.

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Audrey Gallacher, head of energy at Consumer Focus said: "British Gas customers on the lowest incomes will benefit from this move to put money back in their pockets and we welcome this substantial investment. However, the wider issue is making sure all customers are paying a fair price for their energy and unfortunately consumers simply don’t believe that is the case."

She added: "British Gas and other firms are set to reap dividends from increased usage over this cold winter so it's good to see customers getting something back. Suppliers have been quick to put up customer prices as wholesale costs rose in the lead-up to this winter, but consumers will feel that unfairly they haven't felt the benefits of low wholesale prices for the last two years."

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