British Gas in bid to counter rising energy costs fall-out

British Gas, the utility giant, is launching a three-pronged marketing strategy as part of its bid to counteract soaring energy prices.

The strategy will focus on its fixed price and fuel poverty tariffs. It is advertising the fixed price tariff, which freezes energy prices until 2011, in a new campaign created by CHI & Partners on TV, press, outdoor and online.

It will also be launching a new product, Essentials Extra, which guarantees no price increases for fuel-poor customers until 2010.

The utility company has also pledged to give all such customers a “home energy audit”, where a BG representative will visit a customer’s home to advise them on how to save money on their bills. BG claims the move will “cut future bills in a substantial way”.

Last week, BG announced it was hiking its gas prices by 35% and its electricity tariffs by 9%. It blames the increase on rising wholesale prices, increasing transport and distribution costs, and the costs of meeting Government re-newables targets.

At the time of the increases, BG said it would contact all its customers to “show how they can save energy to try and offset these price rises”.

Earlier this year, the energy company pledged to spend £900m over the next three years installing energy efficient products in consumers’ homes. It has also promised not to rise its energy prices any further this year.

The majority of utilities companies raised their prices in February this year. BG is the second energy company to rise its prices within a month – two weeks ago, EDF Energy raise its gas prices by 22% and its electricity by 17%.

BG says that about 610,000 customers have already taken up its fixed price tariff offers this year.

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