British Gas cuts energy bills by £15 for prepayment meter customers from April

One million British Gas customers on energy prepayment meters will save around £15 as reduces the prepayment meter penalty three months early. The move follows months of campaigning over the unfair treatment of those of prepayment meters forced to pay higher rates.

Woman and two children under a blanket using digital tablet
(Image credit: Getty images)

British Gas has cut its pre-payments penalty three months sooner than expected following the government announcement in the Spring Budget that prepayments customers should not pay more than those on direct debits. This is due to kick in the summer with all energy companies expected to remove the penalty by July. 

The move means the four million households who pay for their energy using prepayment meters, will no longer pay more than those paying by direct debit, saving households on average around £45 a year.

However British Gas has now said its one million  prepayment meter customers can now make a small additional saving of £15 before then. 

This is because it’s reducing the prepayment meter penalty, three months earlier than the government’s July deadline. 

It means prepayment meter customers with British Gas will pay as much for their gas as direct debit households and keep the same current discount for electricity prepayment meters.

How much will British Gas customers save?

According to British Gas, over a year, slashing the prepayment meter penalty would already mean a saving of £59. By introducing this early, from 1 April, it means households on prepayment meters could save an extra £15 on their energy bills over the next three months.

British Gas currently has 1.24 million customers with prepayment meters and around 158,000 only have electricity prepayment meters and will not benefit from the change.

This announcement from British Gas comes shortly after it was found to have been forcibly installing prepayment meters in customers’ homes.

A total of 94,000 meters were found to have been installed this way last year with seven in ten of those carried out on behalf of British Gas, Scottish Power and Ovo Energy.

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Sue Hayward

Sue Hayward is a personal finance and consumer journalist, broadcaster and author who regularly chats on TV and Radio on ways to get more power for your pound.  Sue’s written for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, i Paper, Good Housekeeping, Lovemoney and My Weekly. Cats, cheese and travel are Sue’s passions away from her desk!