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British Gas schemes that can knock hundreds of pounds off energy bills | Personal Finance | Finance

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Three British Gas schemes that can knock hundreds of pounds off energy bills (Image: GETTY)

While energy costs may have dropped this month, bills remain as much as 40 percent higher than they were in winter 2021, leaving many Britons still struggling to afford them.

British Gas offers customers several schemes to help customers reduce their costs, including support in writing off energy debts.

Express Money spoke to British Gas to find out what schemes are available and how people can get help.

PeakSave

There are schemes in place to incentivise off-peak energy usage as part of a wider initiative by the National Grid.

British Gas’s PeakSave was supposed to last until March 2024, however, it’s recently been announced that the scheme will be in place until the end of the Paris Olympic Games 2024 – around September 8.

READ MORE: HMRC urge Britons to check if they could be owed £2,000 from forgotten savings

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British Gas has schemes in place to incentivise off-peak energy usage (Image: Getty)

With PeakSave, customers can sign up to be rewarded for moving electricity use out of peak times, including half-price electricity between 11am to 4pm on Sundays.

A British Gas spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Typically, there is a greater amount of renewables available in the UK’s energy system on a Sunday because of lower demand from business and industry, which reduces the requirement for energy generated by fossil fuels.

“British Gas’ PeakSave is an energy reduction scheme that pays customers for every unit of electricity they save compared to their normal usage. PeakSave began as part of the National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service, which tests how to manage consumption to support a greener energy supply.”

Hive

Hive’s energy management tool, Hive Heating Plus aims to help Britons “remove the guesswork” when it comes to heating and could save up to £26 per month on bills.

People can get weekly, monthly and annual overviews of their usage with updates on how they’re tracking against their budget along with personalised tips on how to stay within it.

A British Gas spokesperson said: “The personalised service provides insights on how much customers are spending on their heating in real-time, how to stay within their personal budget, improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. “

Hive Smart Thermostats and Radiator Valves

Hive thermostats allow customers to manage their heating and hot water from their phones. A British Gas spokesperson said: “For a small initial investment, installing one can allow you to save up to £200 a year.

“The tech gives you a greater level of control and visibility of your energy use and should mean that you don’t spend money heating an empty house. For example, you can get alerts if your heating is still on when you leave the house and set energy-saving schedules that work around you – all from your phone.”

SmartCharge

SmartCharge provides EV drivers with cheaper, greener energy by working out the best times to charge their vehicles.

Available to British Gas customers via the Hive app, users simply need to plug their car in and SmartCharge will calculate charging times and savings and then deduct it from their energy bill.

A British Gas spokesperson said: “The longer a car is plugged in, the more opportunities users have to charge their EV using cheaper electricity.

“If the car is plugged in for less than six hours, the discount will be 2p per kWh, and as little as 4p per kWh over that time period.”

FreeCharge

At the moment, new Hive charger customers can also get a year’s worth of charging – the equivalent of a full year’s petrol or diesel – for free. With the FreeCharge offer, customers will benefit from up to 8,000 miles of free EV charging.

A British Gas spokesperson said: “The offer is available to new and existing British Gas electricity customers who have a smart meter and purchase one of Hive’s EV Chargers.

“Chargers can be ordered with or without installation by British Gas, either through Hive or one of its partners. For customers that don’t yet have a smart meter, British Gas will install one for free.”

British Gas Energy Trust (BGET)

The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity solely funded by British Gas and, as well as directly helping consumers with grants, it also works with and provides funding to other money and energy advice projects.

In January, British Gas announced a £20million donation to the British Gas Energy Trust as the organisation marks twenty years of tackling fuel poverty across the UK.

In 2021, a specific British Gas Energy Support Fund was also set up by the Trust in response to the cost-of-living crisis to support British Gas customers.

The funds are still open for applications and people can apply for a grant here if they meet the criteria.

The grant size has been increased for 2024 (up from the £1,500 maximum grant size last year) to acknowledge that some need extra help.

A British Gas spokesperson said: “The average energy bill was £522 in January 2004 with wholesale costs rising, which prompted British Gas to set up the British Gas Energy Trust to help those struggling to afford their energy bills.

“British Gas has now donated over £200million to the charity since then, helping more than 2.2 million people across the UK.”

The Trust’s work has been especially instrumental during the energy crisis and in the last 12 months, writing off £5.2million worth of energy debts and providing £20.5million in grants to help those struggling with energy costs.

A British Gas spokesperson said: “The families supported are in, or at risk of, fuel poverty – in addition to this 30 percent of clients supported are single-parent families, 61 percent are living with a disability and 20 percent are food bank users.”

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