People urged to submit energy meter readings this week as new Ofgem price cap starts

Ten million households are being urged to send energy meter readings to their supplier as cheaper prices come into effect from July 1. From today, the average household energy bill has fallen by seven per cent after Ofgem lowered its price cap in response to wholesale prices.

The industry regulator has dropped the cap from the previous £1,690 for a typical dual fuel household paying their bills by Direct Debit in Scotland, England and Wales to £1,568, a fall of £122 over the course of a year. This is around £500 less than the cap in July last year, when it was £2,074.

However, households not on a fixed tariff but on a standard variable tariff, who do not have a smart meter are being urged to submit electricity and gas meter readings to their supplier as close as possible to July 1 to ensure they are billed accurately at the lower prices.

People who do not submit readings risk having some of their usage after this date charged at the previous, more expensive rates.

Suppliers who have not received meter readings base their bills on estimated usage, meaning households could be overpaying, while others may not be paying enough.

The average household is expected to spend £83 on energy in July, compared with £127 in June, due to the lower cap and lower usage due to warmer weather.

However, energy analysts at Cornwall Insight have warned that the price cap is expected to rise again in October, before falling again in January 2025.

Emily Seymour, Which? Energy Editor, said: "Consumers will be relieved to hear that the price cap is dropping by around £122 for the typical household from 1st July.

"We'd recommend taking a meter reading as close to July 1 as possible to ensure you don't pay over the odds for any energy used after the new price cap takes effect.

"With the price cap predicted to rise again in October, many consumers will also be wondering whether to fix their energy deal. There's no 'one size fits all' approach but the first step is to compare your monthly payments on the price cap to any fixed deals to see what the best option is for you."

Emily added: “As a rule of thumb, if you want to fix, we'd recommend looking for deals as close to the July price cap as possible, not longer than 12 months and without significant exit fees."