The typical household in Britain will pay, on average, around £2,500 a year in energy bills for the next two years from Saturday 1 October.
A worldwide squeeze on gas supplies has led to a supply-demand imbalance and soaring prices are now being passed on by energy companies to households.
The Energy Price Guarantee limits the amount you can be charged per unit of gas or electricity. It is not a cap. Bills will continue to be influenced by how much energy you use, the £2,500 figure quoted is an average — some people will pay more if they use more than the average amount, some may pay less. The Energy Price Guarantee replaced the £3,549 Ofgem price cap announced in August.
When should I take meter readings?
Submit electricity and gas readings to your provider on Friday, preferably in the afternoon or evening, as unit prices will increase from Saturday.
Friday 30 September, the last day of the month, is being called ‘meter reading day’ to encourage bill payers to submit meter readings.
If you can’t submit your readings on Friday, submit them as soon as you can.
Most providers will let you back date meter readings for around a week, but it’s always worth double checking.
British Gas said customers who take meter readings on 30 September have until Friday 14 October to provide them.
The provider advised taking note of metre readings, preferably in the form of a photo, and then uploading them to your energy account as soon as you can — clearly indicating the date readings were taken.
Why should you submit meter readings on Friday?
Sending regular meter readings is crucial to avoid your provider overestimating energy usage and overcharging you. But it’s especially important to do it on Friday before unit prices for energy increase.
This will ensure you are paying for any energy already used at the lower unit prices — ie. before 1 October — and keeps your bill as accurate as possible.
Otherwise your next bill will be based on an energy company estimate of how much electricty and gas you used before the unit price increases.
How to take your meter reading and send it to your energy company
Locate your digital electricity meter and write down the five numbers in black and white, excluding the sixth number in red.
If you have a two rate digital meter, write down all the numbers in black and white, from right to left, and ignore the red figures.
Send these figures to your energy company via their website, app, or over the phone.
If you’re not able to reach the energy company, take a clearly visible photo of your meter reading and meter serial number and submit it as soon as you are able.
How does the Energy Price Guarantee work?
From Saturday 1 October, the cost of energy for the average home will be £2,500 a year for the next two years.
The forthcoming discount on unit prices depends on your tariff. If you’re on a standard variable tariff, the unit prices will be set at around 34p per unit of electricity, and 10.3p per unit of gas.
That is the UK average, however there may be a little variance depending on where you live and how you pay.
If you’re on a fixed tariff, the Energy Price Guarantee will discount your tariff unit rates by up to 17.8p per unit of electricity and 4.4p per unit of gas.
If you’re on a prepayment meter, the Energy Price Guarantee will be applied to the rate you pay for each unit of energy, making the money you put on the metre last longer than it otherwise would have.
What other help is coming?
Additionally, the Energy Bills Support Scheme will be paid as a discount to your bill from Saturday 1 October, totalling £400 from October to March.
Those will smart meters will be credited automatically, customers on prepayment meters will receive payments monthly either through redeemable vouchers or automatic credit at their usual top-up point.