Frequently asked questions

Need some support? Look no further than our FAQs.

Everything you need to know about British Gas

Joining British Gas

How do I join British Gas?

  1. Get a quote online

  2. Pick your tariff

  3. We’ll explain the key terms and conditions and give you a 14 day cooling off period before we start your switch.

  4. We’ll contact you within 5 days of agreeing the offer, and send you the link to your contract pack

If you want to know more about switching energy supplier then our step-by-step guide will help.

What happened to British Gas Evolve?

British Gas Evolve launched in 2020. Since then, our customers have told us that ‘British Gas’ is a name they know and trust.

What you think really matters to us, so we’re changing our name to British Gas.

What does this mean?

Although our name is changing, everything else will stay exactly the same. We will continue to keep improving our services to bring you an easier experience and sustainable energy.

Don’t worry, your energy supply won’t be affected, and your tariff and payment details will remain exactly the same.

If you were paying by Direct Debit, the only change you’ll see is to your bank statement, which will show ‘British Gas’, instead of ‘British Gas Evolve’.

Will my existing smart meters work if I move to British Gas?

If you have the latest generation smart meters (SMETS2), they should continue to work as now. We’ll automatically try to connect them after you’ve switched, but we may still ask you to send us meter reads while we do that.

If you have first generation smart meters usually installed pre-Summer 2019 (SMETS1), they may lose their smart functionality as they don’t work with all suppliers. If that happens, we’ll ask you to give us regular meter readings via your online account once you’ve switched. It’s easy to do and we’ll email you a reminder when we need a read from you.

This is a temporary issue and soon these smart meters will work across all energy suppliers.

Still seeing British Gas Evolve in your online account?

Don’t worry, this may be because your browser hasn’t been updated in a while. You’ll still be able to do everything as normal, like submit a meter read, you’ll just see ‘British Gas Evolve’ instead of British Gas in your account.

To update your browser, follow the instructions below.

Need some extra help? You can chat to one of our helpful Live Chat agents Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Chrome

  • On the sign-in page for your online account, right click anywhere in this browser window and select Inspect
  • This will open Chrome Developer Tools – you’ll see a panel open either at the bottom or to the right-hand side of your browser.
  • Click on Application > Storage and click Clear site data
  • Close the Chrome Developer Tools and refresh the page
  • You’ll be directed to a new URL, which will update your browser and show British Gas on your page.

Edge

  • On the sign-in page for your online account, right click anywhere in this browser window and select Inspect
  • This will open Edge Developer Tools – you’ll see a panel open either at the bottom or to the right-hand side of your browser.
  • Click on Application > Storage and click Clear site data
  • Close the Edge Developer Tools and refresh the page
  • You’ll be directed to a new URL, which will update your browser and show British Gas on your page.

FireFox

Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox

Safari

Clear your browsing history in Safari on Mac – Apple Support (UK)

Managing your energy account

How do I manage my British Gas account?

British Gas is an online-only service, so you’ll need to log in to your online account to manage your energy account. Here you can:

  • See your bills
  • Check your Direct Debit details
  • Check your account balance
  • Send us meter readings
  • Renew your tariff

What should I do if I have a problem logging in to manage my account?

If you can’t get into your account, try resetting your password from the log in page. If that doesn’t work, please contact us on webchat.

My tariff is online only, what does that mean for me?

This means that everything is done in your online account. Your online account is where you manage your energy, including sending us your monthly meter reads and seeing your bills and payments. When you join us, you’ll receive all the information you need to access your account.

Can I use my British Gas app to manage my British Gas energy?

The British Gas app isn't compatible to use for your British Gas energy. To manage your British Gas energy, please log in to your account using our website.

How do I renew my tariff with British Gas?

Around 50 days before your contract is due to end, we’ll contact you with a renewal quote. We’ll offer you our best available tariff and price. You'll be able to see your tariff options when you log in to your online account. When you agree to renew with us, we’ll give you a 14-day cancellation period.

If you don’t renew with us by the last day of your contract, we’ll put you onto our cheapest variable tariff.

You can go back onto a fixed tariff at any time, just contact us.

You can find out when your current tariff is due to end in your online account.

Your tariff end date will be shown next to the tariff name in your energy bill.

I’m on a variable tariff and prices are increasing from 1st October 2021

Our variable prices are changing from 1 October in line with Ofgem’s energy price cap. We’re emailing or writing to all affected customers. We understand that the price cap increase comes at a very expensive time of year for some of our customers. We want to help you through winter, so we’ll freeze your current Direct Debit payment through winter. This means that although the price of our variable tariffs will increase from 1st October, we’ll keep your current Direct Debit payment at the same amount through winter.

If you want to increase your Direct Debit amount, then log in to your online account and choose ‘Manage Direct Debit’.

Moving home

What do I do if I'm moving in or out of a home supplied by British Gas?

Check out our home move page which will tell you the information we’ll need when you contact us.

If you’re moving from a home we supply, we’ll need to hear from you so we can close your current energy account.

If you’re moving to a home we supply, then we’ll get your online account set up quickly.

Webchat

What are the opening hours of webchat?

Our webchat team is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm excluding bank holidays. Outside of these hours you can still access our website 24/7.

Who can I contact outside of opening hours?

If you have an energy emergency only, please contact your network operator – find out more about gas and electrical emergencies. For other queries, please contact us on webchat during our opening hours so we can help you.

What should I do if I’m experiencing issues with webchat?

If you are experiencing issues loading webchat try the following steps to correct the issue:

  1. Check you have javascript enabled by clicking this link www.whatismybrowser.com or www.enable-javascript.com - the webpage will tell you whether javascript is enabled or not. Also check that you don't have any tools or settings blocking cookies on sites you visit. You must have cookies and javascript enabled to use our website.

  2. Check you don’t have any extensions on your browser which may block content e.g. Adblock Plus, Disconnect, NoScript, Privacy Badger or uBlock Origin. Some security software can also prevent webchat from loading.

  3. On your desktop or laptop try completing a hard refresh by loading our webpage then click Ctrl + F5 simultaneously; the page will refresh, this may resolve any caching issues.

  4. Clearing your cache and cookies may solve any issue you're experiencing, go to your internet browser settings to delete this data.

  5. Try accessing webchat from another device or browser i.e. another laptop, tablet or mobile.

  6. If you are using Firefox check to see if it is applying content blocking.

  7. If you are using Internet explorer 11, please use an alternative browser such as Chrome.

  8. You can talk to our dedicated webchat team by clicking on "Log in" or "Contact us" page, where you will find options to "Chat to an expert".

Who should I contact if I have no gas or electricity?

If you have an energy emergency, you don’t need to contact us on webchat. You should contact your network operator – find out more about energy emergencies.

Your smart meter

Why do I need to give you a meter reading if I have smart meters?

If you have smart meters and we’ve asked you to provide meter readings, it’s because we’re unable to take automated reads. Some older smart meters are not compatible with all energy suppliers, so they can’t send reads. This is a temporary issue we’re working hard to resolve. For now, you can give us meter reads via your online account so we can send you an accurate bill.

We’ll email you a reminder each month when we need a read from you.

If you need help, see our How to read your smart meter guide.

Find out more about our Smart Meter enrolment.

How do I read my smart meters?

One of the great benefits of having smart meters is automated meter reads, but sometimes things go wrong, and we may ask you to provide them manually, so we can give you an accurate bill.

If we do ask you for a read from your smart meter, here’s our how to read your smart meter guide to help you.

If these instructions don’t apply to your meter type, we recommend following your manufacturer’s instructions on how to read your smart meter. These are available on their websites.

How do I get a smart meter?

If you want to get smart meters installed, just complete our online form and we’ll be in touch as soon as we’re ready to install smart meters in your home. ​

Find out more about smart meters.

 

Now we have moved back to British Gas, can I have a smart meter now?

If you want to get smart meters installed, just complete our online form and we’ll be in touch as soon as we’re ready to install smart meters in your home. ​ We’re working to get all our customers upgraded to smart meters as soon as possible. Where you live, the type of home you live in and your existing meter type may mean it takes a little longer for us to get to you. We’ll be in touch as soon as we’re able to install smart meters at your home.

Now I have moved back to British Gas, will my meter start communicating again?

If you have the latest generation smart meters (SMETS2), they should continue to work. If you have first-generation smart meters, usually installed pre-Summer 2019 (SMETS1), they may have lost their smart functionality when you were originally moved to British Gas Evolve. If that happened, we’ll have asked you to give us regular meter readings via your online account until further notice. It’s easy to do and we’ll email you a reminder when we need a read from you.  Moving back to the British Gas brand won’t fix this problem - but as soon as we can resolve it we’ll let you know. 

What to expect when you get smart meters installed

Once you’ve booked your smart meter installation appointment, we’ll start getting everything ready for your switch to smart meters – but we’ll need a little help from you.

Before we visit

We'll send you an appointment confirmation and a reminder closer to the time. We also recommend reading our smart meter guide before we come and fit your smart meters.

On the day

1. Please clear the space around your meters

Our engineer will need easy access to your meters so please clear the space and make sure they have enough room to work. We can't usually change the location of your meters as that's where the supply points are – so your new meters will be in more or less the same place as your existing meters.

If you’re interested in moving your meters to a different place, please let us know before your appointment as we charge for this service and we’ll need to give you a quote for the cost.

If your meters are in a locked cupboard or a locked communal room, please make sure you have the keys on the day so we can get in.

2. We'll try to let you know when we're on our way

And when we arrive, we'll make sure to show you our ID.

3. Make sure an adult is around the whole time

Someone over the age of 18 needs to be at home to let us in and stay for the duration of the appointment. Even if your meters are outside. And bear in mind, it can take up to two hours to fit your meters.

4. We'll run a few final checks

The engineer will carry out safety checks and turn off your power supply off before they start work. Your power could be out for more than twenty minutes per smart meter you’re having fitted – so please let us know in advance if this is going to be a problem for you (e.g. if you have any medical equipment that uses power or if you’re working from home and need internet).

5. We'll give you your new smart energy monitor

Before we head off, we'll show you how to use your new monitor. You can also download the user guide for your smart energy monitor.

We'll come back every few years for a check-up

Smart meters don’t need a lot of maintenance, but we’ll let you know when you’re due a check-up*

British Gas is a signatory to the SMICoP - REC Portal which has been approved by Ofgem.

*Please note that not all services are available to all customers at the current time.

User guidance for your smart energy monitor

Download the user guide for your smart energy monitor.

Your billing

Why is my Direct Debit amount changing?

We’ll review the amount of energy you’re using every year, so you don’t build up too much credit or debt on your account. If you are paying too much or too little compared to how much you’re using, we’ll adjust your Direct Debit amount to keep you on track. We’ll let you know by email at least ten working days before we make any changes.

How can I update my Direct Debit amount?

You can increase the amount you pay each month by logging into your online account and choosing ‘Manage Direct Debit’. If you need to decrease it, please contact us on webchat.

Can I change my payment method?

All British Gas contracts are set up for fixed Direct Debit – we’ll agree the amount when you join and we’ll review your payments and usage at least once a year to check you’re on track for paying for the energy you’re using.

If you need to change your Direct Debit instruction, log in to your online account and chat with us. You can also make additional card payments in your online account at any time.

How do you calculate my estimated usage?

When you join us, we estimate how much you’ll use in a year based on previous usage, we’ll then spread this across 12 monthly payments. We will also review your meter readings every 12 months to keep you on track with payments so if you don’t have a working smart meter it’s really important you add these to your account by going to ‘Submit a reading’. This way we can also make sure you receive an accurate bill.

What if I can’t afford my Direct Debit?

We know it’s not always easy to pay your energy bill - and that everyone’s circumstances are different. If you’re having issues meeting your monthly Direct Debit amount there are a few things you can do. Firstly, please speak to us on webchat to discuss your options. You can also take a look at help with your bills and check out our energy saving tips.

How can I get my credit refunded?

We want to make sure your energy bills are manageable for you. So instead of claiming a refund, you can use any excess credit to reduce your monthly payments for future bills or use the credit to reduce the impact of higher winter bills.

If you still require a refund, please complete the following checks on your account before you chat with us:

  1. Your account has been billed to an up to date meter reading in the last 28 days. If not, please give us a meter reading.

  2. You have no outstanding balances on other accounts with us. If you do, we’ll transfer the credit to help pay what you owe.

  3. Your Direct Debit payment is not due in the next three working days. If it is, we suggest you wait until your balance has been updated.

  4. You’ve moved out of the property and your final bill is based on an actual meter reading. Your refund will be processed automatically within 10 working days. If your final bill is estimated, please give us a final meter reading so we can issue you with an accurate final bill.

  5. The credit has not already been requested.

I think there's something wrong with my bill, what should I do?

If you think your bill is too high or low, first check:

  • If your bill is estimated. Your bill will say if it's based on an estimated reading
  • The meter serial number on the meter matches the one on the bill

If we've estimated your bill, this could be why it is different to what you expected. An estimated bill is when we estimate the amount of energy we think you’ve used based on your previous usage.

We prefer preparing your bills on your real meter readings because they’re more accurate. Send us an up-to-date meter reading in your online account. Depending on when we get your meter reading, we'll either adjust and resend your current bill or make sure the meter reading is considered on your next bill.

If your bill is based on actual meter readings, it’s worth considering:

  • If we’ve under-estimated your bills in the past, your bill will be higher as we’re charging you now, for the energy used in past months
  • The time of year, as homes generally use more during the winter months
  • If you’ve changed anything in your home, like bought new appliances or if you’ve been doing home improvements the appliances used may increase your usage
  • If there’s been an increase in the number of people living in your home

Other information

How can I reduce the energy I use?

You can save energy by installing energy saving bulbs and A++ efficient appliances, turning off lights when you’re not using them, nudging your heating down 2 degrees and replacing your boiler if it’s over 15 years old. For more tips read our energy saving tips.

What should I do if I have an electrical emergency?

If you've got an electrical emergency or you lose power, you'll need to contact your electricity network operator. You can find their details on our emergencies page.

What should I do if I have a gas emergency?

If you've got a gas emergency you'll need to contact the National Gas Emergency Service immediately. You can find their details on our emergencies page.

What should I do if I have received an email that looks like a scam?

If you think you’ve been sent a scam email it could be a phishing scam. Phishing scams are used by criminals to steal personal information. To do this, they send emails claiming to be from a genuine company. Sometimes, they even ‘spoof’ email addresses so that the message seems to be from our systems.

If you think you’ve been sent a scam email from British Gas, please send it to us at phishing@centrica.com so we can investigate.

Common scam emails contain attachments you’re not expecting, links you’re asked to click on, or offer you something of value like a refund. They often don’t refer to you by name.

What can I do to protect myself against scam emails?

  • Don't click on attachments and links you're not expecting
  • Disable the use of ‘macros’ in Microsoft Office documents
  • Always make sure your software is up-to-date
  • Always run an up-to-date virus checker

How do I spot genuine emails from British Gas?

  • They will only provide links to the British Gas website.
  • They will address you by name, not ‘Dear customer’.
  • If you’re not sure the email is genuine, then go directly to www.britishgas.co.uk in your browser to log in to your account instead of clicking on the link.

How do I make a complaint?

If you want to make a complaint, we want to sort things out for you quickly. Take a look at our complaints handling process for information about how to complain and the steps we’ll take to resolve your complaint.

What is the Warm Home Discount scheme?

The Warm Home Discount scheme (WHDS) offers a one-off payment of £140 (inclusive of VAT) towards the energy bills of those who need it most in England, Scotland and Wales.

The scheme was introduced by the Government in April 2011 and managed by energy suppliers. The money isn’t paid directly to you – it’s a one-off discount that’s credited to your energy account, prepayment card or key, during the winter – providing you qualify for the payment.

How do I apply for the Warm home discount scheme?

To register for the Warm home discount scheme please click on the below link:

www.britishgas.co.uk/warm-home-discount

Who’s eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme?

The Warm Home Discount Scheme separates eligible households into two groups - the 'core group' and the 'broader group'.

To find out more about the eligibility criteria, please visit this page:

www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme.

What is Energy theft charter?

The Gas and Electricity Theft Charter applies to all energy suppliers. It helps us to ensure the welfare of our most vulnerable customers when we investigate cases of potential energy theft.

For more information, please see our Energy theft charter guide.

Smart meter enrolment

What is smart meter enrolment?

The Data and Communications Company (DCC) is an industry body that provides a shared smart metering infrastructure for data and communications services.

Your supplier will use this to communicate with your smart meters. All latest generation SMETS2 meters are already linked to this system when they’re installed. Older first generation SMETS1 meters will need to be transferred to the new system. Once they have been transferred or enrolled, it will mean that if you temporarily lost your smart meter services such as automated meter reads and a fully functional smart energy monitor when you changed supplier, these services will be restored and you won’t lose them again in the future.

When will SMETS1 smart meters be enrolled onto the Data and Communications Company (DCC)?

Timings for enrolment are controlled by the DCC and will be completed at different times, depending on your meter type and whether it was installed by British Gas or another energy supplier. We anticipate that smart meters will be enrolled through 2020-2022.

How will smart meters be enrolled?

Enrolment will use a remote process that means in the majority of cases, a smart meter won’t need to be physically replaced.

Can I request for my current SMETS1 smart meters to be enrolled?

No, unfortunately you can’t request for your smart meters to be enrolled at a specific time. This will happen within the country wide enrolment programme.

When will my smart meters be enrolled?

The timing of enrolment will depend on your meter type and whether it was installed by British Gas or another energy supplier. We anticipate that smart meters will be enrolled through 2020-2022 and those meters that temporarily lost their smart services will regain them meaning your Smart Energy Monitor will display your energy usage and your smart meters will send us automated meter reads again.

What’s the difference between SMETS1 and SMETS2 smart meters?

If you had your smart meters installed before Summer 2019, you’ll most likely have a SMETS1 smart meter. These meters aren’t always compatible with all energy suppliers meaning that smart benefits can’t always be maintained if you switch energy supplier.

From 2020 onwards British Gas SMETS1 smart meters will gradually be enrolled into the Data Communications Company (the DCC). This means you’ll be able to keep your smart meter services if you decide to switch supplier or that you’ll regain the services you may have temporarily lost if you previously switched to us from another supplier.