Energy bills: Why you should check your meter reading this week

Standing charges are set to drop from July and campaigners have urged people to take meter readings so they don't pay over the odds

Watch: Hunt: Tackling inflation my No 1 priority

Energy bills are set to drop from July as the government's Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) expires and the amount people on direct debit pay is instead determined by the price cap, which is set by Ofgem and is lower than the EPG.

The drop in the price cap will help households battling the cost of living crisis with an average £426 annual saving.

But to ensure they get the maximum benefit, campaigners have urged people to take meter readings by Friday (30 June) so they do not pay more than they should.

Read more: Cost of living: Over five million Brits in energy bills debt, experts warn

Logging a meter reading on Friday will prevent suppliers from determining bill prices that aren't accurate to your usage and an accurate reading is essential in making sure you do not pay more than you should.

An accurate meter reading is also essential if you are disputing a bill.

If the reading is lower than your provider's estimate, you can ask your them to lower your monthly direct debit to a more suitable amount.

Cost of living crisis, heating bills increase
Almost one in three households has experienced fuel poverty (Getty)

Gareth Kloet, energy spokesman at the Go Compare comparison site, said: "This drop will come as a very welcome relief for many households who have been struggling to pay their energy bills in the past year.

"If you compare energy prices with winter 2021 – when the price cap was set at £1,277 – the past 12 months have been a huge struggle for many, so this weekend’s drop is definitely a step in the right direction.

"However, it’s important that you take a meter reading so that you can make the most of the price drop.

"By taking a meter reading on 30 June, before the price drop comes into force, it will mean that your energy company cannot charge you at the higher rate for any units that have been used after that date."

Ofgem announced it is cutting its price cap from £3,280 to £2,074 from 1 July, taking it below the Government's Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), which limited annual energy costs to £2,500 for the average household.

That drop of around 17% means a potential saving of £426 for households.

Households should submit meter readings before midnight on Friday, 30 June to ensure they are paying the lower prices as soon as they come into effect.

If you can't submit readings ahead of this date, you should do so as close to it as possible, keeping a date-stamped photo as proof.

Read more: Energy bills to hit schools at rate of £80 for every pupil

Martin Lewis also urged consumers to check their meter readings.

For information from Citizens Advice Bureau on how to take a meter reading click here.

Anna Cook, from National Energy Action (NEA), told Yahoo News UK that regular and accurate meter readings are "good practice generally".

The NEA estimates that almost one in three households are currently experiencing fuel poverty, which means a household spends more than 10% of its income on energy to provide a satisfactory heating regime.

Cook said that people struggling with their energy bills should maintain a dialogue with their supplier to find out what help is available to them, a move she also recommended for those who are able to pay their bills.

"Talk to your supplier," she said.

"Be aware of what your typical usage is.

"If you can work out what your bill was last year... you can work out what your bill should be - that's trying to take back a bit of control."

For more information, or if you're struggling to pay your energy bill, visit: