Martin Lewis urges British Gas and Octopus customers to 'act now'

Martin Lewis
-Credit: (Image: (Image: ITVX))

Energy customers with suppliers such as British Gas, EOn, EDF, and Octopus Energy are being prompted to take immediate action by submitting a meter reading.

Martin Lewis, the financial guru, has sounded the alarm for all energy consumers, advising them to snap a picture of their gas and electricity meters and submit a reading by Thursday, July 4. This follows an Ofgem price cap reduction of 7 per cent, equating to an average saving of £122 based on typical usage.

Customers can backdate their readings to Monday, July 1, provided they took the reading on that date, since many leading energy providers, including British Gas and EOn, will accept backdated submissions if they're made by Thursday. Regardless, providing a reading from either Monday or today could result in savings when compared to an estimated bill, reports the Express.

READ MORE Cost of living payments hitting bank accounts in July and August

The rush to submit readings on Martin Lewis' previously recommended 'meter reading day' used to cause energy websites to crash due to high traffic. However, if you managed to record your meter reading on Sunday or Monday, you're now in the last stretch to submit it within the window that ensures you benefit from the lower rates.

On his most recent podcast, Martin Lewis commented: "When I first did this I suggested meter reading day and I crashed virtually every energy site." He continued with practical advice: "The real advice is, some point between now and next Wednesday-Thursday because you can backdate, go and get a meter reading."

He had already clarified: "On Monday, July 1, the energy price cap which dictates the price that 85 per cent of homes in England, Scotland and Wales pay for their energy is dropping, it's getting cheaper, by 7 per cent. It's the unit rates that are dropping, the standing charges are staying the same. The unit rate has dropped and that means higher users will see slightly more than 7 percent cut, lower users slightly less but for everyone it's going down."

However, if you don't take a meter reading and let your energy firm estimate your usage, you might end up with bills that are higher than necessary, leading to overcharging. Martin also mentioned: "Most people pay by monthly direct debit, where your average use is taken over the year and it's smoothed out so you don't have big cashflow issues in the winter.

"That is based usually on estimates of what you will use. Because the price is going to be dropping 7 percent, if you allow your energy firm to estimate your usage, it could estimate more at the higher rate before July 1 than it does afterwards because if it's looking across a couple of months it might choose to allocate some of those units that you use to the higher rate period."

While not directly from Martin Lewis, there is also advice suggesting that even those with smart meters should take manual readings. This is due to some energy firms only taking a smart reading once a month and estimating usage in-between, as one customer discovered.

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