It is important to note that British Gas does not freeze prices, only your monthly direct debit payment stays the same. That means, if your current direct debit is not enough to cover your high-consumption energy consumption in winter, you could run into a large deficit after the lockout ends.
In fact, from October, British Gas will raise its standard prices by £ 139 / year for a typical household – the maximum allowed under the regulator Ofgem’s new price cap.
While the direct debit freeze could offer respite for those in financial difficulty, you could just run into debt in your account. This could lead to significantly higher catch-up payments after the blocking has ended. British Gas says it will evaluate the market in February 2022 and then decide how to adjust the direct debits (then to announce the next price cap change).
Also, if you have accumulated debt, companies can prevent you from switching until the balance has been settled, which could lead to difficulties in making a full market comparison.
It’s also important to note that this system won’t help those paying by check or using the prepaid meters (see our guide to cheap prepaid gas and electricity for ways to save).
I don’t want to freeze my direct debit – how can I unsubscribe?
British Gas says if you don’t want to postpone your direct debit increase you can change it through the app or contact the company directly. If you do not unsubscribe, your direct debit will be automatically frozen. So take action if you don’t want to have significant debts in your account.