British Gas customers to set their own paymentsCustomers will be able to take 'payment holidays'

01 February 2011

British Gas is introducing 'flexible direct debits' which will allow customers to vary the amount they pay towards their energy bills each month.

Customers will also be able to take payment holidays, where they can choose to not pay anything for up to two months in a year.

Which? energy expert Fiona Cochrane says: 'Consumers being given more control of their payments is certainly a good thing, especially as Which? members have been telling us that direct debits are being set too high. But it's crucial for British Gas to make consumers fully aware of how this will work, so they don't end up with any unexpected surprises.'

Flexible direct debits won't be available to all British Gas customers, so go to the British Gas website to find out if you're eligible.

And if you're thinking of switching your energy supplier, use Which? Switch to find out how much you could save on your gas and electricity bills. 

Nectar points for British Gas customers 

Flexible direct debits are one of several changes British Gas has announced it is making in response to customer feedback. British Gas scored just 45% in our energy company satisfaction survey - seventh out of the 11 gas and electricity companies covered.

Consumers will also now receive Nectar points for taking various services with British Gas. Customers will receive 200 points a year for taking either gas or electricity, 400 points for Dual Fuel, and 800 points for switching their payment method to Direct Debit. However, as we reported last week, loyalty card points won't necessarily make an energy deal better value overall.

The British Gas website has a complete list of Nectar point bonuses you can get from the company.

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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