Tony Lloyd: ‘Energy costs change this Saturday. Here’s what you should do.’

On Saturday the 1st of October, new energy price guarantees will commence which means households on capped tariffs will see their energy bills rise by an average of 27%.

Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, said, “On Saturday the 1st of October, most energy bills rise 27%, so it is doubly important that you submit a meter reading with your energy supplier.

“You don’t need to submit the reading on the day, as most energy suppliers will let you submit the reading later (sometimes up to a fortnight).

“There may be a lot of people trying to submit their readings online, which may cause some websites to crash and some phone lines may be very busy, so it’s important to do this before or a few days after, as the difference will be small.”

If you pay by direct debit

If you pay by direct debit, energy suppliers will estimate your usage and assign it to a certain period. For those who normally submit a meter reading, you will need to do it close to the day that the prices are to change.

Smart meters (or pre-pay meters)

Those who have a smart or pre-pay meter do not need to submit a reading, but it might be worth taking a photo of the meter for backup.

If you are on a cheap fixed rate your rates won’t be changing. You will pay less than the new price guarantee and there’s no reduction.

British Gas, Ovo (SSE), Octopus, EDF, E.on and Shell have said that customers who end up on fixes at a higher rate than the price guarantee will be allowed to move on to that firm’s price guarantee tariff, with no early exit penalties, until at least the 15th of November.

Rented accommodation

Your landlord can only charge you for gas or electricity if your tenancy agreement says that they can. Check your tenancy agreement to find out if you have to pay your landlord for energy, and on what terms.

Citizens Advice has a useful page with information on what your landlord can charge you for energy.

Business energy

Businesses will get government support this winter under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. Most business tariffs will be discounted except for fixed deals signed before the 1st of April 2022. The scheme gives a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices until the 31st of March 2023.

Be aware of fraud

Households in with an electricity supplier should start to see the first instalment of the £400 energy support payment in the coming weeks. It is split into six payments over six months, so any messages stating help in claiming the rebate are likely to be fraudulent.

Your supplier will do this automatically, but it is good advice to be aware of scammers who may use this to try to exploit people.

People should contact their energy supplier if they’re in doubt and report any scams to Action Fraud.

Take-five has good advice on how to spot fraudulent scams. 

Struggling to pay your bills?

If people are struggling to pay their gas or electricity bills, they should first contact their energy supplier. Whilst there is no need to contact suppliers to receive the Government support packages, people’s energy suppliers should still remain the first port of call if they are struggling with bills.

Suppliers may be able to offer a range of support such as repayment plans, and can help to signpost to the best sources of independent advice for your needs.

My digital leaflet on the cost of living also has web links with information from energy suppliers on grants to help pay off your energy debts.