Money experts are urging everyone to take and submit meter readings for electricity and gas today, 31st March, before energy price increases kick in.
The majority of households are on a standard tariff, which is subject to a price cap set by the regulator Ofgem.
The annual cost under the price cap is set to rise from April by almost £700, so experts say everyone, particularly those who pay by direct debit, should make a note of their consumption today and submit it online to their energy company so they and you have an accurate record of energy consumption.
Money saving expert Martin Lewis told viewers to his ITV show why people paying by direct debit should take gas and electricity readings now.
He said: “That way you draw a line in the sand that says to your energy firm, I’ve only used this amount at the cheaper rate, don’t start charging me more on the higher rate and estimating I use some of it afterwards.”
Monthly direct debit amounts are calculated across the year in an effort to smooth out higher consumption over the winter months in comparison with lower use over the summer. Having accurate figures on consumption can help avoid companies over-estimating future usage which could inflate the amount paid each month.
If you’re having difficulties with energy costs or other bills, you are advised to speak to your energy company first to see if they can help. There are also other organisations who can offer free help and advice, including:
Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
Step Change – 0800 138 1111