Martin Lewis explains how your energy bill could be too high and what you can do about it
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Martin Lewis has explained what to do if you think your energy bills are too high.
The Money Saving Expert is a fount of knowledge, and has helped thousands, if not millions, of people save money over recent times.
And with everyone's wallets are getting squeezed ever tighter as the cost of living crisis deepens, his advice is more important than ever.
During his Money Show Live, Martin responded to a concerned viewer, who was wondering whether it was correct that her bill had shot up from £49 to £123.
Reading out the woman's email, he said: "I have just received my new monthly direct debit from my energy provider and it has gone from £49 to £123 from September and then £181 per month from 28 October.
"I am in credit of £200, is this correct, as this will be one week’s pension money?"
While Martin explained that most households in the country will have seen their bills double in price over the last year, he said there are a few things to look out for if you're suspicious that your bills are wrong.
"First of all, are you giving regular meter readings or do you have a working smart meter?" he said. "If you don’t, you need to get in touch and do a regular meter reading because the estimate could be wrong.
"You’re in credit, not in debt, so that would indicate it shouldn’t go up much. The one other thing is, have you come off a cheap fix, in which case your bill would have risen by far more than double over the last year.
"If you’ve passed all those tests, then that would seem far too high for me."
The financial whizz then advised the viewer to use an online calculator to work out what she should be paying, and then to contact her supplier to discuss the potential issue.
"Get in touch with the energy firm, call it up, politely - as the call centre operators haven’t done anything wrong - and say, please can you tell me why you’re putting my direct debit up," he said.
"If they can’t justify it to you, then you have the right under energy firm licence conditions to have your direct debits lowered."
This comes after Martin won a National Television award in the 'Expert' category at the awards ceremony last week.
While accepting his award, he took the opportunity to draw attention to the ongoing cost of living crisis and the issues the UK has to face in the coming months. See what he said:
After expressing his shock at having beaten fellow nominees including Jay Blades, Kaleb Cooper and Sir David Attenborough, Lewis turned his attention to the UK government.
"The energy crisis has been disastrous and left many people with terrible issues and mental health problems, I'm afraid next year with the mortgage problem and the knock on to rent is going to be pretty bad. And you know what? We need somebody to get a grip on the economy and put things a little bit better," he said.
Naturally, his comments received a big cheer from the audience, and he stressed that he'd be getting more into the topic on his Martin Lewis Money Show next week.