British Gas £91/yr standing charge to zero-gas users

edited 31 October 2013 at 4:08PM in Energy
36 replies 5.4K views
benefitquery_2benefitquery_2 Forumite
21 Posts
edited 31 October 2013 at 4:08PM in Energy
British Gas (new) £91/yr standing charge to zero-gas users
Do I really have to go as far as asking a meter to be removed?
Aren't British Gas just being being petty?
Here's what they say (by the way, please remember my gas meter is already cut-off so zero usage!):

Dear Mr Richards,

On 17 October 2013 an announcement was made regarding our prices.

All of the energy companies have been working with Ofgem, the energy regulator, to make energy pricing simpler and easier to understand. As a result, British Gas will have a common Standing Charge across payment types and products in order to help consumers better understand and more easily compare tariffs.

Under the new Retail Market Review requirements, all energy suppliers are required to offer tariffs based on a Standing Charge and unit rate format. Customers will be expected to pay the Standing Charge when they top up through their prepayment meter or when they receive their bill.

When I responded to your enquiry in August 2013, I was unaware of the changes that were to be imposed.

As your gas supply is not used, unless the meter is removed, the standing charge will still apply. If a meter is removed then you will not have to pay the standing charge but please be aware there may be a charge to re-install the meter if you choose to do so in the future.

If you wish to have the gas meter removed, then please contact us on 0800 048 0303, lines are open 24/7.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer
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Replies

  • British Gas (new) £91/yr standing charge to zero-gas users
    Do I really have to go as far as asking a meter to be removed?
    Aren't British Gas just being being petty?
    Here's what they say (by the way, please remember my gas meter is already cut-off so zero usage!):

    Dear Mr Richards,

    On 17 October 2013 an announcement was made regarding our prices.

    All of the energy companies have been working with Ofgem, the energy regulator, to make energy pricing simpler and easier to understand. As a result, British Gas will have a common Standing Charge across payment types and products in order to help consumers better understand and more easily compare tariffs.

    Under the new Retail Market Review requirements, all energy suppliers are required to offer tariffs based on a Standing Charge and unit rate format. Customers will be expected to pay the Standing Charge when they top up through their prepayment meter or when they receive their bill.

    When I responded to your enquiry in August 2013, I was unaware of the changes that were to be imposed.

    As your gas supply is not used, unless the meter is removed, the standing charge will still apply. If a meter is removed then you will not have to pay the standing charge but please be aware there may be a charge to re-install the meter if you choose to do so in the future.

    If you wish to have the gas meter removed, then please contact us on 0800 048 0303, lines are open 24/7.

    Yours sincerely

    Jennifer



    OFGEM proposed the change to standing charge tariffs, if anybody is being petty it's them.

    There are still suppliers that are offering tariffs with 0p standing charge. How long those remain in the market remains to be seen.

    Some would argue that the standing charge reflects the fixed cost of having a gas supply to the property.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Out of interest OP, have BG quoted you a price to have it removed, or is it free ? Its a question I get asked a lot on my rounds.. Ebico are doing no standing charge tariffs
  • British Gas (new) £91/yr standing charge to zero-gas users
    Do I really have to go as far as asking a meter to be removed?
    Aren't British Gas just being being petty?
    Here's what they say (by the way, please remember my gas meter is already cut-off so zero usage!)

    Yes, you should pay to have it removed. Of course you can disadvantage those with a low use who only need their gas for hot water and cooking. You can switch to one of the suppliers that still provide tariffs with a standing charge of £0. But that attacks those who need such tariffs.

    Never mind, no-one cares about such scum. We want right-wing non-progressive tariffs. Ofgem are intending to increase the standing charge from £91 to £157 odd and not allow suppliers any leeway.

    Why is it petty of British Gas? It is Ofgem that is insisting on these changes. Write to and complain about them.
  • Thanks for all this helpful advice everyone. It does help! In reply:

    1. Gosh, I hope it is free to remove the meter. BG did not mention in their email (enclosed in my original post) about a charge.

    2. Yes, Ebico is offering no standing charge. thanks for that.

    I'll check any other replies from MSE on Saturday. Cheers!
  • RyuneRyune Forumite
    43 Posts
    This is the way its going unfortunately. We got nice triumphant statements from Ofgem / Parliament on how they had made things "better" for consumers by making things simpler. Unfortunately simpler isn't always better - there are multiple tariff structures for a reason.*

    *Not that it wasn't slightly silly before how many there were, but they didn't need to go as far as they have.
  • Last year I paid £70 for gas and £110 for electricity from British Gas on a no standing charge tariff. The standing charges will more than double this. British Gas estimate that my bill will rise from £180 to £380 this year. THANKS for nothing, Ofgem.
  • You can switch your gas supply to providers with no, or lower standing charge.
    If those suppliers will soon introduce fees for customers using no gas is another question.
  • rogerblack wrote: »
    You can switch your gas supply to providers with no, or lower standing charge.
    But they can be 70% or more more expensive than last year's two-tier alternatives. And why should such customers be limited to two or three tariffs when others have the full range of hundreds to choose from.
  • Nada666 wrote: »
    But they can be 70% or more more expensive than last year's two-tier alternatives. And why should such customers be limited to two or three tariffs when others have the full range of hundreds to choose from.

    Err.
    No standing charge, and per-unit fees on no units is how much?
  • Thanks for the comments.

    Yes, I agree that if someone switches gas to a non-standing tarrif supplier, they could start imposing a standing charge in the future.

    I have booked appointment for the meter removal.

    Wait 'til you hear this........

    The new standing charge (£91 a year) comes into effect on 23-11-13, but the earliest meter removal date is 16-12-13!!

    I'll let you know if British Gas are going to try to bill me for a standing charge (for a cut-off gas supply) from 23-11 til 16-12 (!)

    (16-12 is date of meter removal)

    Emailed them this morning. Fingers crossed!
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