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Energy bills to rise from tomorrow

Most households will see their energy bills rise on Saturday, as the new energy price guarantee comes into effect. 

The rise is less than had previously been expected, after the UK government announced it would cap domestic bills to prevent widespread hardship. 

But it is still significant. A typical household's energy bill will rise from £1,971 to £2,500 - that's double what it was last winter. 

Consumer expert Martin Lewis says there are some things people can do to manage the costs:

  • Get a meter reading in beforehand. For people who pay by direct debit or in receipt of bills, their bills are estimated and assigned to a certain period –taking a reading just before means there is no estimate so no discrepancies
  • Don’t do it on the day. Previously firms' websites crashed with the sheer volume of people trying to enter their readings, leaving many frustrated and the most vulnerable unable to access help
  • You don't need to do a meter reading if you have a working smart meter or pre-payment meter or fixed deal where the price won’t be changing
  • Those on pre-payment meters may be able to keep current prices into October and even November if you top up now. This will not work for gas meters, smart electrical pre-payment meters or E.On or Scottish Power

As for mortgages, Lewis advises anyone on a variable rate or fixed rate that is coming to an end soon, to do the following:

  • Get on a comparison website to see what’s out there
  • Talk to your existing lender to see what they will offer you
  • Talk to a good mortgage broker to help you through it
  • If you're on a fixed deal ending in a year’s time, you might want to talk to a broker about whether it’s worth paying the early redemption penalties and fixing now for longer

For consumers: 

If you can't afford your ongoing energy bills, contact your supplier. If you are in debt to your energy company, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off. British GasOctopus and Scottish Power are among the firms which offer grants to their customers and charity Citizens Advice offers more guidance. 

For businesses: 

Contact your supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your business energy bills. 

Suppliers may be able to work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford more easily. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before. 

You can ask for:

  • a review of your payments and debt repayments
  • payment breaks or reductions
  • more time to pay
  • access to hardship funds.

Energy bills support factsheet

Advice for consumers - Citizens Advice

Advice for businesses - Ofgem

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