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Thursday, October 29, 1998 Published at 16:49 GMT

Business: Your Money: Money Reports

Guide to the best gas deal

Hot prices - but where to find them?

Since November 1997, more and more households across Britain have had a choice of gas supplier.

Changing from British Gas to a new supplier can save money for many, but still three out of four people choose to remain with the one they know.

[ image: The internet can help you get the best deal]
The internet can help you get the best deal
Apathy and confusion seem to be behind the slow acceptance of shopping around for a better deal.

Many consumers still do not seem to know about the alternatives that are available to them.

At present there are over 20 gas suppliers nationwide offering a bewildering aray of deals for prospective customers and changing supply is relatively easy.

[ image: Changing a gas supplier does not mean your road will be dug up]
Changing a gas supplier does not mean your road will be dug up
The gas you will use will still come down the same pipe and from the same source, what will be different is the price you will pay.

Savings of up to 20% can be made by making the switch.

Nikki Abraham of the Gas Consumers Council said: "The gas companies are saying you can save up to 20% but it does depend on where you live and how you pay your bills already, whether it is by direct debit or whether you pay the standing credit with British Gas."

Many of the new gas companies are advertising in the newspapers but most are selling door to door.

It is important not to be pressurised if someone turns up on your doorstep selling gas.

Following these three simple rules.

  • Do not sign anything on the spot.
  • Ask for written information about the services on offer.
  • Ask for a written statement of what you will save and how those savings are likely to be achieved.

Before you make the switch it is a good idea to get quotes from as many firms as possible.

For more information Ofgas, the gas regulatory body, has produced a series of factsheets and information on gas deregulation and competition.

Surfing the Internet can also provide help in finding the best deal to suit you.

There is also an internet site called which has a gas calculator which can help you to check out different companies' prices.

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