Martin Lewis discusses energy bill price hike
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Martin Lewis explained to Britons that they might be able to save money if they switched their energy provider before the price increase. Ofgem announced last month that from April 1, 2021, the price cap will return to pre-pandemic levels.
This means around 15 million families will see their energy bills rise by up to £96.
For six months from April 1, the price cap will increase by £86 to £1,238 for 11million default tariff customers, and by £87 to £1,156 for four million prepayment meter customers.
Ofgem sets an energy price cap to limit the price suppliers can charge consumers for their electricity and gas twice a year.
Jonathan Brearly, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Energy bill increases are never welcome, especially as many households are struggling with the impact of the pandemic. We have carefully scrutinised these changes to ensure that customers only pay a fair price for their energy.
“The price cap offers a safety net against poor pricing practices, saving customers up to £100 a year, but if they want to avoid the increase in April they should shop around for a cheaper deal.
“As the UK still faces challenges around COVID-19, during this exceptional time I expect suppliers to set their prices competitively, treat all customers fairly and ensure that any household in financial distress is given access to the support they need.
“The government and Ofgem have been working with the energy industry and consumer groups to support customers through this difficult time and I urge anyone worried about paying their energy bills to contact their supplier and access the help available.”
With the rise just around the corner, Martin Lewis urged Britons to check whether or not there is a better deal out there.
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He said: “Energy bills – the price cap is going up by £96 a year on typical use.
“That’s all of those who are standard tariffs with the big six, that’s over half the homes in the country…please I’ve said it so many times, go on a market comparison service and do a comparison.
“Switch somewhere cheaper…the cheapest comparison on the market is nearly £240 a year cheaper for the same gas, same electricity and the same safety.
“It’s only customer service and billing…so go and have a look at that.”
The cheapest tariff depends on location and usage but there are a number of comparison tools out there to see if you can find it cheaper with another provider.
According to the Money Saving Expert, the cheapest tariff on the market at the moment is with People’s Energy on a 12-month fixed contract for £916.
It may also be worthwhile paying via direct debit as this usually brings the cost down by around £75 a year.
Many Britons could save hundreds of pounds by switching supplier and although it may seem like a big task, it’s quite simple.
Using comparison sites and shopping around can be a good way to find the best deals on offer.
Ringing up your current supplier may also be a good way to see if there is any way you can cut the cost.
Energy regulator Ofgem also recently found that 18 energy suppliers have been overcharging customers, meaning many Britons could be owed a refund.
Ofgem said more than one million customers were collectively overcharged more than £7million for the failings and suppliers are now issuing refunds and redress payments worth £10.4million.
Several of the suppliers self-reported the issue to Ofgem which led to all suppliers being requested to self-assess their practises. This then revealed that 18 suppliers were not compliant between 2013-2020.
Affected suppliers including British Gas, E.On, npower, Scottish Power and SSE.
The 18 suppliers will be in contact with customers about any redress payments.
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