British Gas is rewarding loyal customers with five free days of electricity—welcome savings as many have seen their home energy bills climb during the coronavirus lockdown.
The offer is available to customers signed up to the supplier’s Rewards programme. Launched in 2017, this loyalty scheme lets customers earn up to 20 days’ worth of electricity each year, depending on how long they’ve been with British Gas.
Now to help customers struggling with higher utility bills during the COVID-19 crisis, the UK’s largest supplier is now offering five days of electricity to all customers who sign up to the loyalty programme.
To distribute the ‘free days,’ British Gas will take your average daily electricity cost, multiply it by five and deduct that figure from your next monthly bill. The exact amount you’ll save will depend on your usual energy consumption and your tariff.
According to government figures, the average UK monthly energy bill is £57, meaning the offer from British Gas is worth approximately £9.
However, the discount isn’t being delivered automatically. You’ll need to sign up to British Gas Rewards, through British Gas’ website or your online account. You then need to claim the five free days of electricity from a list of available perks. Existing rewards users will need to claim the offer before next Monday 25 May.
The savings will be a happy reprieve for households which have seen their energy bills creep up as they work and eat from home. Energy bills are up an average of £32 a month per household across the UK.
While the discount while please some customers, British Gas is already on thin ice with others. The energy giant caused controversy earlier this year when they switched from using PayPoint to Payzone for meter top-ups on 1 January. Customers were left scrambling to find new locations to top up their electricity and gas meters and forced to top up a minimum of £5, rather than the previous minimum of £1. The energy giant reversed its decision to hike minimum meter top-ups in February, but had already infuriated loyal customers and prompted some to switch away.
Like many Big Six suppliers, British Gas has haemorrhaged customers in recent years, with 286,000 departing last year alone. The supplier’s difficulties contributed to a £1.1 billion loss of parent company Centrica in 2019, but British Gas insisted it had turned the tide. It launched its cheapest tariff since 2016 in October and that month attracted 20% of all energy switchers.
Centrica has blamed the energy price cap for many of its woes and launched a High Court challenge against an eleventh-hour alteration in Ofgem’s methodology for calculating the cap, which it says cost British Gas £70 million.
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