Households urged to take meter readings NOW ahead of energy bill rise this week

MILLIONS of households are being urged to take their energy meter readings ahead of the price rise from October 1.

If you don’t send regular meter readings to your supplier, they will charge you an estimated cost, which could see you paying too much.

Households should check their energy meter ahead of the price change1

Households should check their energy meter ahead of the price changeCredit: PA

The average household energy bill will go up from £1,971 to a frozen £2,500 next month under the Energy Price Guarantee announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss earlier this month.

However, millions of households will be receiving a £400 energy rebate off their bills from October to March 2023.

It’s worth noting the Energy Price Guarantee only caps the cost per unit households pay, so your actual bill could be more or less than £2,500.

It will all depend on how much energy you use.

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To ensure customers aren’t charged more than they should be, they are being urged to get their meter readings around October 1.

Industry body Energy UK said high call volumes and website traffic were expected on suppliers’ websites, and recommended customers check beforehand for the best way to submit readings.

The last time the price cap went up, a range of energy suppliers websites’ crashed due to the sheer number of people on them trying to submit readings at the same time.

Frazer Scott, chief executive of Energy Action Scotland, said: “This week, every household across the UK must make sure it submits a meter reading to their energy firm to avoid paying a penny more than they absolutely have to when prices go up on October 1.”

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Research by comparison site Uswitch suggests a fifth of households (20%) will only be able to cope with rising bills this winter by cutting back their usage.

Ben Gallizzi, energy spokesman at Uswitch.com, said: “Energy bills are still due to rise in October despite the Government support, and we know that many people are feeling anxious about the winter ahead.

“Keeping on top of your home energy consumption will be especially important during the coldest months when the heating comes on.”

Why do I need to take regular meter readings?

If you take regular readings your supplier can work out how much they should bill you.

If you don’t submit readings to your supplier, they’ll estimate your usage and you could end up being charged more.

According to comparethemarket.com, how often you should submit readings will depend on how often you’re billed.

If it’s every month, you should aim to submit a reading two days before your payment date every four or so weeks.

If you are billed quarterly, you’ll only need to take meter readings every three months.

If you’re on a smart meter, you don’t need to take any readings as they will be taken automatically.

It comes after consumer champion Martin Lewis urged millions to get their readings done.

How do you take a meter reading?

In most cases you’ll be able to call your supplier to give them the readings, and in others you might be able to submit them online or on an app.

Electricity meters

If you have a digital electricity or gas meter, you see a row of six numbers on the display dashboard – five in black and one in red.

You will need to note down the five numbers in black and ignore the red number.

If you are on an Economy 7 or 10 tariff, which means you get cheaper electricity throughout the night, you may see two rows of numbers.

You should take both down.

If you have a traditional dial meter, you will have to read the first five dials from left to right and ignore any red ones.

If the pointer is between two numbers, you will need to write down the lower number. If it’s between nine and zero, write down nine.

If the pointer is directly over a number, write down that number and underline it.

Citizens Advice says that if you’ve underlined a number, check the next dial to the right. If the pointer on that dial is between 9 and 0, reduce the number you’ve underlined by 1. For example, if you originally wrote down 5, change it to 4.

Gas meters

If you have a digital metric meter showing five numbers then a decimal place, you only need to write down the first five number from left to right.

If you have a digital imperial meter your meter will read four black numbers and two red numbers – note down the four black numbers only.

If you have a dial gas meter follow the same steps for those with a dial electricity meter but ignore underlining any figures.

What other energy bill help can I get?

From October 1, millions of households will start receiving a £400 energy rebate.

The payment will be made to your energy supplier who will then deduct it from your bill.

Households will receive a £66 discount in October and November, and a £67 one every month from December to March.

Millions of pensioners who usually get the Winter Fuel Allowance will receive £300 on top from November.

Some households are set to get a £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023 as well.

You might also be able to get an energy grant from your supplier.

British Gas is offering one, as well as Bulb Energy, EDF, E.onOctopus Energy, Ovo Energy and Scottish Power.

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