Martin Lewis has told people to take a meter reading today, before the April price cap rise. The money-saving expert says anyone who pays for their gas and electricity through a direct debit should take a meter reading on March 31st.
He has also shared what to do if you simply can’t take a reading today. With the average annual cost of energy bills rising by around £700 next month, we all need to look for energy-saving tips for the home and ways to reduce costs.
Martin Lewis’ tip basically means your energy supplier knows exactly how much you’ve used before bills rise, so you’re not charged extra. If you’re away or won’t have time, he recommends taking a meter reading as close to today as possible, so ideally over the next few days.
‘The nearer to today you do it the less chance of misestimates, so don’t panic about missing it (either through your own or the firm’s issue) just get it in as soon as you can,’ he says.
Martin Lewis advises people to take meter reading today ahead of April price hike
Speaking on his ITV show, The Martin Lewis Money Show Live, he said, ‘You can’t give a falsely high direct debit reading at the end of March, that’s fraud. But I would say, diarise now to take a meter reading on the 31st March.
‘That way you draw a line in the sand that says to your energy firm that says, “I’ve only used this amount at the cheap rate, don’t start charging me more on the high rate and estimating that I used some of it afterwards,”‘ he explains.
For those on a pre-paid, non-smart meter, Martin Lewis recommends topping up as much as possible before the energy price hike on 1st April. This will save you money because you pay according to the rate on the day that you top up.
So by paying in advance (if you can afford to), you could end up paying for energy in April at the lower pre-price hike rate. Martin Lewis is urging people to get up to date with their energy meter readings at the end of this month so suppliers know just how much they’ve used.
It’s worth bearing in mind for future that smart meters will do this for you. They also give you accurate calculations for your utility bills and sending monthly meter readings to your suppliers automatically.
They will also help you keep track of what you’re using. There are also plenty of smart heating options, too.
If you can take a reading today, do it, so you don’t end up paying an unnecessarily high estimate. If not, try and get the job done over the weekend or early next week.