Your British Gas bill explained

You may think your British Gas bill is a bulky mass of pages, but all that information can help you understand exactly how much you’re paying, your energy usage and even work out if you’d be better off switching supplier.

If you need a steer, then use our interactive guide to understanding your British Gas bill.

Peter Earl From the Energy team
minute read
example of an british gas energy bill

1. What type of energy your bill includes

British Gas will have separate pages for gas and electricity.

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2. The name of your energy supplier

In this case, British Gas.

3. The name of your current tariff

This section shows the name of your energy tariff - in this example the tariff is called ‘Collective Fix February 2017’. When using our energy supplier comparison tool, you’ll find your tariff from our drop-down list. If you can’t find the exact name, then pick one that’s closest to your current tariff. 

4. If you’re switching electricity, do you have an economy 7 meter? (You can skip this part if you’re only interested in comparing gas)

If you have an Economy 7 meter, you should have two sections to your electricity bill - one for the day and one for the night.  

Another way to see if you have an Economy 7 meter is to look at your electricity supply number. An Economy 7 meter should have a 02 in the top second box.

In this example, the box has 01, so it isn’t an Economy 7 meter.

5. How do you pay for your energy?

Which payment method do you use - monthly or quarterly Direct Debit, payment on receipt of your bill, or payment meter?

6. How much energy do you use?

This section will show your estimated usage over the past 12 months in kWh.

7. What date does your tariff end on?

This shows the date your tariff is due to end. Ofgem’s Fair Treatment Standards now mean that your energy supplier can’t charge you an exit fee if you decide to switch and have fewer than 49 days until the end of your fixed term tariff. 

8. How much is the Exit Fee?

This will show you the exit fee you’ll be charged if you decide to switch more than 49 days before your tariff is due to end.

Take a moment to consider this, as the amount you’ll be saving by switching may be more than the exit fee, so it might be worth paying anyway. In this case, the exit fee is £30.

9. What’s my balance?

Finally, to switch you’ll need to pay off any remaining balance from your bill. But don’t worry, you can pay this once you’ve switched.

Part of the switch process involves a meter reading on the day of the switch. If you’re in debit you’ll be sent a final bill from your old supplier. If you’re in credit you should receive a refund for the remaining amount owed to you. See how the switching process works.

Why is my British Gas bill so complicated?

As with all energy suppliers, British Gas bills can seem overly complicated. It’s just that they contain a lot of detailed information.  

Your bill provides a breakdown showing you how much energy you’ve consumed and how much you’re paying for it. It will also provide a comparison of your current usage compared to the same time last year, which is a handy way to see if anything’s drastically changed. 

Check out our simple guide to understanding your energy bill for more information.

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Why are my British Gas bills so expensive?

British Gas aren’t just charging for gas and electricity. They also have to allow for the cost of delivering the energy to your home as well as taking into account government taxes, subsidies for environmental projects, operating costs etc.

Can I reduce my British Gas energy usage?

We can all reduce our energy use around the home. Small changes can sometimes be the most effective. They can add up to big savings throughout the year as well as help to reduce your carbon footprint. These include:

  • Turning down your thermostat by one degree
  • Taking short showers instead of baths
  • Turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby
  • Using energy efficient lightbulbs like LEDs

For more ways to reduce your energy usage, check out our handy top energy-saving tips.

Should I cancel my British Gas contract and switch supplier?

Not necessarily; you may be happy with your British Gas contract or they may have offered you a lower priced alternative. If you have to pay an exit fee, you'll also have to weigh up whether you'll save more by switching. But as the switch process is so straightforward, it’s certainly worth shopping around and comparing tariffs from other suppliers to see if you can cut your bills. We take into account any penalties that we are aware of when calculating your potential savings.

Our data reveals that 50% of customers could save up to £338** on their dual fuel energy costs by switching energy suppliers.

**Where a saving can be achieved 50% of people could achieve a saving of £338.00 on their dual fuel energy costs based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.

Why should I compare energy?

Comparing energy suppliers gives you the chance to find a better deal. When it comes to energy, sticking to the same tariff could mean you’re paying more than you need to.  

You can switch with confidence because there's a government-backed Energy Switch Guarantee.

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