Customers should submit their meter readings before prices jump by £700

Support us and go ad-free

Households will see the biggest rise in the cost of energy in living memory from Friday when bills increase by 54%, or almost £700, to just under £2,000 a year.

Experts have urged householders to submit meter readings for gas and electricity to their supplier on Thursday to show exactly how much energy they have used ahead of Ofgem’s price cap increasing from April 1. This will prevent firms from estimating usage and potentially charging for energy used before April 1 at the higher rate.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has offered households a £200 loan to support higher energy bills (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA)

Keep sending regular readings

Households should also send regular meter readings, ideally on the same date each month, to prevent their supplier from estimating usage and potentially overcharging for it as they move into the summer months and use less heating.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said:

We’d recommend sending meter readings to your supplier ahead of the price cap rise on 1 April. This means your energy company will have an accurate picture of your usage before higher rates come in.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

If you’re struggling to pay your bill, speak to your energy provider as they have to help you. Citizens Advice can also provide you with free, independent support.

The energy price cap for those on default tariffs who pay by direct debit is rising by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 from April 1. Prepayment customers will see a bigger jump, with their price cap going up by £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.

The regulator was forced to hike the energy price cap to a record £1,971 for a typical household as gas prices soared to unprecedented highs.

“Quality of life for millions of people will plummet”

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) warned the cost of heating an average home has now doubled in 18 months, leaving 6.5 million households unable to live in a warm safe home across the UK.

NEA chief executive Adam Scorer said:

This is the biggest energy price shock in living memory.

Millions of people will be priced out of adequate levels of heating and power. For all the anticipation of these price rises, many people on the lowest incomes will be crushed by the reality.

Quality of life for millions of people will plummet. Warm homes, cooked food, hot water, clean clothes – all cut back or cut out. Debt will spiral. Physical and mental health will suffer.

This energy crisis is about to bite down hard on those least able to cope. Charities like NEA will try to pick up the pieces for those in greatest need. It will be a near impossible task.

Last week, the UK Government chose not to prioritise support for those on the lowest incomes. It has crossed its fingers that the market will right itself. This ‘wait and see’ policy could cost lives next winter.

An Ofgem spokeswoman said:

We know this rise will be extremely worrying for many people.

The energy market has faced a huge challenge due to the unprecedented increase in global gas prices, a once in a 30-year event, and Ofgem’s role as energy regulator is to ensure that, under the price cap, energy companies can only charge a fair price based on the true cost of supplying electricity and gas.

Ofgem is working to stabilise the market and over the longer term to diversify our sources of energy which will help protect customers from similar price shocks in the future.

Sunak gives with one hand but takes with the other

Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to “take the sting out” of the price rises, promising that all 28 million households in Britain would get a £200 up-front rebate on their energy bills from October. The Government will provide the cash for this, but it wants the money back so will hike bills by £40 per year over the next five years from 2023 to recoup its cash.

If all goes to plan, wholesale energy prices will drop so households can pay back what they owe, without a major rise in bills. Some energy company insiders worry that while good in principle, the policy is too reliant on falls in global gas prices. But experts are not sure this will happen, at least not soon.

Goldman Sachs has already warned that prices in the gas market are likely to remain at twice their usual levels until 2025. Sunak also promised a £150 council tax rebate for homes in bands A to D, something he said would cover around 80% of homes in England. He also promised £144 million to councils to support vulnerable people.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. EDF will not accept meter readings until next window on the 14th of the month. Thereby needing customers to get there extortionate direct debit reduced by contacting them again. Of course they know many too busy will leave massive credits in EDF’s bank. The same frigging French state owned company that is keeping its rises in France to 4%

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.