Martin Lewis tells Brits what to do if they don't have time to check their meter readings today
Mr Lewis tells Brits not to panic if they can't submit their meter reading today
Founder of the MoneySavingExpert, Martin Lewis, has advised consumers to submit their energy meter readings to their providers today, to avoid being stung by the energy price cap rise.
This will prevent firms from estimating usage and potentially charging for energy used before April 1 at the higher rate.
In a tweet, Mr Lewis said: "Pls share. Thurs 31 Mar is energy #MeterReadingDay So firms can't assign some of your current usage to April when rates are c54% higher - Not smart meter? Send a reading (later in the day the better) - Smart or prepay meter? Just take a meter pic for safety (in case of dispute)"
He noted that not all consumers in the UK have a pressing reason to submit a meter reading to their energy provider today.
Those on fixed rates won't see their prices move, nor do people in Northern Ireland where there is no price cap.
Mr Lewis tweeted: "PS This DOESN'T apply to 1. People in Northern Ireland (where there's no price cap - so prices dont all move on same day) 2. People who are on fixes as your price won't move 3. Others no on the price cap."
In another tweet he said: "If you can't get to do a meter reading today, do it tomorrow, or Sunday, or Monday. The nearer to today you do it the less chance of mis-estimates, so don't panic about missing it (either through your own or the firm's issue) just get it in as soon as you can."
This comes as a number of energy provider's websites have appeared to have faltered today.
The issues – which appeared to be an industry-wide problem – came as experts urged householders to submit meter readings for gas and electricity to their supplier on Thursday to show exactly how much energy they have used ahead of Ofgem’s price cap increasing from April 1.
A spokesman for Energy UK, the trade association for the industry, said: “We’re aware that some suppliers are experiencing issues with their websites due to the volume of customers submitting meter readings.
“Suppliers do offer alternative ways of doing this such as through automated phone lines and apps so we’d recommend customers try those. Customers with smart meters do not need to worry as their readings are automatically sent to their supplier.”
A message on the British Gas website told customers it was facing “some technical issues we’re trying to resolve as quickly as possible”.
The message said customers could still submit readings but warned it could take “a little time to update your account with the meter reading you provided today”.
EDF Energy’s website also reported problems, apparently as many people tried to submit their meter readings on their account.
The main page of EDF Energy was working, but when customers clicked through to the MyAccount page they were unable to log in.
A message on the page reads: “Sorry… We’re carrying out some essential maintenance work on our site. We’ll be up and running again soon.”
E.On also seemed to be facing issues with letting customers log in to their accounts, while customers of So Energy reported that they were unable to either log in or get through on customer helplines.
According to Downdetector, E.ON, Scottish Power, British Gas and SSE have gone down.