Martin Lewis urges Brits to check meter readings today so firms can't assign April prices
The 54 percent jump in energy prices takes effect on 1 April
Money saving expert Martin Lewis has urged Brits to check their meter readings today, ahead of the 54 percent jump in energy prices from 1 April.
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) will lift the price cap tomorrow, meaning, the average household’s bill will shoot up by almost £700 or to just under £2,000 a year.
To prevent firms estimating usage and potentially charging for energy used before 1 April at the higher rate, Mr Lewis has called for a national “Meter Reading Day”.
He wrote in a post on Twitter: “Thursday 31 March is energy Meter Reading Day.
“So firms can’t assign some of your current usage to April when rates are 54 percent higher."
For those without a smart meter, he advised sending a reading as late in the day as possible.
While those with a smart or prepay meter should take a picture "for safety in case of a dispute".
Tomorrow’s raised cap on household energy bills, is the biggest increase since Ofgem introduced the cap in 2019.
Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, echoed Mr Lewis’ advice.
She said: “We’d recommend sending meter readings to your supplier ahead of the price cap rise on 1 April. This means your energy company will have an accurate picture of your usage before higher rates come in.
“If you’re struggling to pay your bill, speak to your energy provider as they have to help you. Citizens Advice can also provide you with free, independent support.”
The regulator was forced to hike the energy price cap to a record £1,971 for a typical household as gas prices soared to unprecedented highs.
Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) warned the cost of heating an average home has now doubled in 18 months, leaving 6.5 million households unable to live in a warm safe home across the UK.
NEA chief executive Adam Scorer said: “This is the biggest energy price shock in living memory.
“Millions of people will be priced out of adequate levels of heating and power. For all the anticipation of these price rises, many people on the lowest incomes will be crushed by the reality.
“Quality of life for millions of people will plummet. Warm homes, cooked food, hot water, clean clothes – all cut back or cut out. Debt will spiral. Physical and mental health will suffer.
“This energy crisis is about to bite down hard on those least able to cope. Charities like NEA will try to pick up the pieces for those in greatest need. It will be a near impossible task.
“Last week, the UK Government chose not to prioritise support for those on the lowest incomes. It has crossed its fingers that the market will right itself. This ‘wait and see’ policy could cost lives next winter.”
An Ofgem spokeswoman said: “We know this rise will be extremely worrying for many people.
“The energy market has faced a huge challenge due to the unprecedented increase in global gas prices, a once in a 30-year event, and Ofgem’s role as energy regulator is to ensure that, under the price cap, energy companies can only charge a fair price based on the true cost of supplying electricity and gas.
“Ofgem is working to stabilise the market and over the longer term to diversify our sources of energy which will help protect customers from similar price shocks in the future.”