British Gas price hike - find out if you can switch and save now
British Gas electricity price hike, cheap Sky sports and broadband deal, free £65 Tempur pillow and Nectar points boost. These are our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Deals of the Week.
Remember, deals can change quickly, even while I’m on the programme. So always double-check the terms and conditions before spending. Plus, while I hope these deals will save you cash, don’t spend if you can’t afford it, don’t need it, or won’t use it.
Warning for all British Gas customers – electricity price is increasing, check if you can save and switch now
On 15 September, British Gas will increase electricity costs for most customers by 12.5%, which for a typical dual-fuel bill will add around £76 a year. Those on British Gas fixes won’t see a rise, until after their fix deal ends.
This is British Gas’ catch-up price hike. It was the only one of the big six energy firms not to raise prices at the start of the year, and this delayed rise was widely predicted back then. Plus this means, if, as is possible, we see another batch of rises in winter, its customers would feel like they’ve been price-slapped twice in rapid succession.
Of course its freeze did give you a little respite from price moves over the key high use winter period. Yet I suspect for many the false sense of security that it wouldn’t move prices meant you did nothing, when you could’ve cut what you pay substantially, and frozen your price for far longer, by actively picking a far cheaper one-year fixed tariff.
So let this be a clarion call to you, and for all those on big six standard tariffs. Do not sit on your backside, wait for the rise and just take this. If you use a typical amount of energy, on British Gas’ standard tariff you'll pay £1,120 per year from September (some other big six standard tariffs cost even more), and most of its other tariffs aren’t much better. Yet the cheapest tariffs on the market are £840 per year for the same usage. So take five minutes and check how much you can save.
Switching is usually no big deal - there’s no break in service, no engineers calling at your home, it’s the same gas, electricity & safety. Only price and customer service changes.
Who your cheapest supplier is depends on where you live and how much you use. The easy way to find out, is to use or call up an energy comparison site. There’s a list on Ofgem’s website. Yet comparison sites are now allowed to default to show only sites that pay them when they switch you (this doesn’t add to the price you pay) but it means they can hide the very cheapest tariffs. So this is something to watch out for when using them.
Sky sports TV and standard broadband with line rental for £28/mth
The men’s football season is less than a couple of weeks away, and for those who will be paying for channels to watch it, until Thursday 17 August, new and existing TalkTalk customers can get an 18 month Sky Sports + TalkTalk TV YouView box for £8.50/mth – normally it’s £50 upfront and £34/mth. As well as Freeview channels you’ll also get 8 of 10 Sky Sports channels - all the ones that show matches. You can cancel Sky Sports at any time after a month, and no longer pay the £8.50/mth.
To do this you also need to get its broadband & line rent, which is £19.95/mth for a year, then £27/mth after. Averaged over the contract that’s £28.45/mth all-in (before calls), not much more than many pay for line and broadband anyway. Upgrades for more channels and faster broadband are possible.
Yet of course this is TalkTalk, the firm that had a well-publicised hack back in 2015, and has far from the best reputation for customer service, 40% of its customers voted it poor in my latest poll. So if you are going for it, you need to be aware of that and go in with your eyes open.
Free £65 Tempur travel pillow
Until next Monday (7 August) visit any Dreams store (find your nearest) and try out the ‘Tempur Challenge’ – it involves you lying down on a few different mattresses and filling out a short five-minute survey online. You’ll then be emailed (may take a few weeks) letting you know that you can go and collect a free Tempur travel pillow that retails for £65. Though go quick as its stock dependent and they’re low. You can also do the Tempur challenge in any other store that stocks Tempur products eg John Lewis and Furniture Village, though you can only collect the freebie from a Dreams store.
Nectar points boost
If you rarely use your nectar points and have a stash, now’s a good time to. Until 11.59pm next Tuesday (8 August) you can swap 1,000 Nectar points online or in Sainsbury’s stores for two Vue cinema tickets (normally around £10ish each at peak times, or more in London), or two main meals at Pizza Express (worth £10ish each). If you redeemed these points in Sainsbury they’d be worth £5. There's no limit to how many vouchers you can claim, but you need to use them by Saturday 30 September.