Skip to main content

To: Sarwjit Sambhi - CEO British Gas

British Gas - Reverse the Minimum Top-up Rise

We won! British Gas reversed their decision to increase the minimum top-up amount for customers on pay-as-you-go tariffs. They’ve slashed the amount from £5 back to £1. This means people will no longer be forced to decide between spending their last £5 before payday on heating their home, or putting food on the table.

And it’s thanks to the 91,000 of us who signed a huge petition, and thousands of us who spoke up and shared our experiences directly with British Gas. The 38 Degrees staff team met the British Gas CEO, and took these stories straight to him.

Preet Kaur Gill, the MP who started this campaign on the 38 Degrees website, said:

“This is a vital win for the thousands of people affected by British Gas’s decision to raise the minimum pre-pay top-up. I am so thankful to 38 Degrees and the 91,000 people who signed our petition. It would not have been possible without them.”

As of New Year's Day, British Gas increased the minimum top-up amount for customers on pay-as-you-go tariffs to £5. We ask that their CEO Sarwjit Sambhi reverses this decision so there is no minimum top-up amount.

Why is this important?

“I use a pre-pay meter because I can’t afford a direct debit. £5 may not sound a lot, but when you’re scraping together coppers just to make up the money, it can be the difference between a hot meal and going hungry.” – Daniel, British Gas customer*

As anti-poverty campaigners and charities have made clear, this decision will mean that many parents and pensioners on low incomes will have to make a choice between food and fuel; it will mean not being able to cook a hot meal, have a bath or turn the heating on. Those who use top-up meters are often in debt and have insecure incomes, and rely on small top-ups to ration their heating to see themselves through to payday.

What's more, research shows that those on pre-pay meters pay hundreds of pounds more in tariffs on average than direct debit customers. This decision will disproportionately affect those who are already struggling to get by. To implement it in the middle of winter, and what is the most financially challenging time of the year for many people, is the height of social irresponsibility.

A company which last reported profits of £466 million should not be increasing the burden on its most hard-up customers. We ask that British Gas does the responsible thing and reverses this decision.

Preet Gill MP has sent the following letter to British Gas bosses calling for this increase to be reversed. A huge petition, joining her call, could convince them to do the right thing:

*Name changed for anonymity



2020-02-17 15:33:04 +0000

Petition is successful with 91,722 signatures

2020-02-03 18:36:36 +0000

50,000 signatures reached

2020-01-28 20:44:42 +0000

20,000 signatures reached

2020-01-28 18:48:32 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

2020-01-28 15:52:36 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2020-01-24 14:59:34 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2020-01-24 12:27:18 +0000

500 signatures reached

2020-01-24 11:36:10 +0000

100 signatures reached

2020-01-24 11:33:16 +0000

50 signatures reached

2020-01-23 17:49:02 +0000

25 signatures reached

2020-01-21 21:40:52 +0000

10 signatures reached