Energy > Stories

Family overpaying by £500 per year on British Gas standard tariff

Nic McBride

Nic McBride
Jan 25, 2018

When Linda Thom's gas and electricity bills hit £2,000-a-year she thought enough is enough.

Linda and her family had been with British Gas for two years at their new build bungalow.

Linda and her partner and two children, who live in Nairnshire in Scotland, had been with the same supplier since they moved in two years earlier.


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When their bills hit £2,000 she decided it was time to investigate.

"You think 'this is a ridiculous amount of money to be spending on electricity and gas'.

"I thought 'I need to look into this'."

She went onto A Spokesman Said and realised she could cut their bills by £532.

That's because she was on a standard tariff – paying the highest rates on the market.

Switching to a fixed deal cut more than a quarter off their bills.

A pretty good start to 2018.

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'I wish I had done it sooner'

Linda said it was the first time she had ever switched energy suppliers.

"It was so straight forward and easy – you think it is going to be more complicated than it is."

"I never really got around to doing it – I now wish I had done it sooner."

Linda said she planned to switch more regularly now.


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How to check if you’re on a standard tariff

The easiest way to check what tariff you’re on is to look at your energy bill.

If you haven’t switched energy tariff for a year or more, you're probably on a standard tariff - also called an SVT. 

But the only way to be sure is to either check your bill – the tariff will be on there – or ask your supplier.

Typically the tariff will have the term "standard" or "variable" or words to that effect.

Watch out, though, because, the SVT might be given a fancy name.

If you are unsure - ask your supplier if it’s their standard rate tariff.


Don't wait – switch today

The moral of the story is: switch now, because every day that you don't you're paying more than you need to if you’re on a standard rate.

You might even be overpaying by hundreds of pounds on your gas and electricity without realising.

Much like Linda was, more than 12 million customers in the UK are on standard rates – paying way more than they need to.

Find out if you are one of them and get yourself a better energy deal today.

It is worth taking a look, especially given that standard prices are now more than £300 more expensive than the cheapest rates available.

If you want to know a bit more about an energy company, have a read of some of our reviews.


'What happens after I have switched?'

Within the next couple of days you should receive emails from your old supplier and your new one, letting you know how it will go.

If you don't receive confirmation from your supplier once you've completed your switch you should follow up and check everything is OK.

More often than not, it is simply that an email did not get sent or it went to a junk folder.

If you have any issues, contact [email protected] and give them your reference number, which is in your email with the subject: "Completed switch to new energy supplier via A Spokesman Said".

The reference number is just below the first two paragraphs in the email.