Martin Lewis’ urgent advice to UK households days before energy price hike
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Martin Lewis has issued urgent advice to UK households just days before the energy price hike kicks in.
This included the importance of taking meter readings before the changes come into effect on 1 October, with Lewis explaining that many energy users will still be able to submit these readings for a period afterwards.
Lewis had previously spoken about ‘Meter Reading Day’, a term encouraging people to take meter readings on 30 September before the hikes take place.
However, after a similar period in March, when many people struggled to submit their readings due to high demand on services’ websites and phone lines, Lewis has suggested we go for ‘Meter Reading Week’ instead.
This is because most energy providers will allow you to submit readings several days after taking them.
Lewis explained: “If you pay by Direct Debit, firms estimate your usage - 90 percent of you do pay by Direct Debit - and they also estimate when it’s used so if you don’t want them to assign more of your unit to the more expensive period, you stop that by submitting a meter reading.” Martin also suggested taking a picture when you do it too so that you’ve got evidence if you need it later on.
He continued: “That way, there’s no estimate and there’s no discrepancy - this just makes it fair. But I would say let’s not call it ‘Meter Reading Day’ any more, let’s switch to ‘Meter Reading Week’.”
Lewis said there was no issue with taking meter readings a few days before 30 September, either.
“It makes very little tangible difference,” he added, saying you also don’t need to submit the reading on the day.
“Most firms will let you submit it afterwards and backdate it,” Lewis said.
He also shared specific examples of certain energy firm’s meter reading submission cut-off dates.
British Gas: Up to 14 days after you take a meter reading. This means if you take it on 30 September, you need to submit it by 14 October.
Bulb: Up to three days after you take a meter reading. If you take it on 30 September, you have until 3 October to submit.
E.on: Up to five days after you take a reading. So if you end up reading the meter on 30 September, you should submit by 5 October.
EDF: Up to seven days after taking a meter reading. After taking it on 30 September, you’d need to submit the reading by 7 October.
Octopus: Also up to seven days after taking a meter reading, so, again, if you take it on 30 September you have until 7 October.
Shell: Up to 30 days after you take a reading. If you take it on 30 September, you have until 30 October to submit.
Ovo and SSE: If you take your meter reading before 30 September but don’t submit online or via the app by that cut-off, you will have to call them with it after 1 October.
Find MoneySavingExpert’s full list – and detailed advice – here.