British Gas gives £50 to vulnerable customers340,000 homes to benefit

13 January 2011

British Gas has announced that it will pay £50 to around 340,000 customers on its Essentials social tariff, to help them pay for their winter energy bills.

It will also invest a further £20 million into the British Gas Energy Trust – an independent charity which has been set up to help people who are struggling with household debts, including energy bills.

However, critics have been quick to link this 'investment' to the vast profits that energy suppliers will make this winter, following a succession of price hikes.

Consumer Focus' Head of Energy Audrey Gallacher commented: '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.

'However, the wider issue is making sure all customers are paying a fair price for their energy and unfortunately consumers simply don’t believe this is the case.'

Find out how Which? is working hard to get you a better deal on your energy bills by visiting our . 

How to claim £50

Every customer on British Gas' Essentials social tariff (set up to help vulnerable customers) will receive £50 as a credit on their bill.

Prepayment customers will receive the credit direct to their meter, and a small minority will receive the payment by cheque.

If you are on the Essentials social tariff and want to find out more about the £50 payment, you can call British Gas on 0800 048 0202.

Energy bill help available to all

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, help is available. Check out our guide, financial help for energy customers, to see what your options are and how and where to get assistance.

Plus, if you're a Which? Member, join our team of energy experts on 27 January from 12.30pm in a . They'll be answering your energy questions - from finding the best tariff to troubleshooting problems with your supplier.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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