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Money Matters: Getting ready for the energy price hike

Dan Bebbington from our Money Matters team looks at what we can do to help meet the cost of rising energy bills.

I am sure of most of us will have received the dreaded update from our energy supplier regarding the increase in our bills. Regulator Ofgem announced the energy price cap will soar to £1,971 on April 1.

It’s a scary time, and while many of us will feel a mixture of anger and helplessness about the rising costs, there are some important steps that you can take to ensure your energy bills are as low as can be.

Get into good energy saving habits

Simple things like running your washing machine at 30 degrees, turning your heating down by 1 degree, and turning off lights and appliances when not being used can make the world of difference

Check if you’re in credit

Given the price rises, it might be worth keeping the balance there. Any extra money can act as a buffer against impending price rises.

Take a meter reading on 31 March

Submit it to your supplier if you don’t have a smart meter. Providing proof of how much energy you used before the price rise will help ensure your bill is accurate.

Check your monthly direct debit payments

Get in touch with your provider if you think it isn’t accurate. This ensures you are not paying too much or too little for your energy bills.

Check your other household bills

There isn’t much you can do about the rising cost of energy, but you can look at your other household bills. You can reduce your monthly outgoings by looking at your broadband, TV and mobile contracts.

Take advantage of support schemes

There are a few government schemes you may be eligible for to help soften the impact of increased costs of living. Everyone will get £200 towards their bill in October 2022. Your energy supplier should add the discount to your account for you.

However, you’ll pay back the £200 by paying an extra £40 a year on your annual bill for the next five years, starting from April 2023.

People paying Council Tax on properties in bands A-D will get a £150 discount on their bill that won’t need to be paid back. If eligible, you’ll get this discount in April 2022 or across two or more bills if you pay less than £150 a month. People who pay council tax by direct debit will see the cash go directly into their bank accounts from April. Those who do not pay by direct debit will be contacted by their council and invited to make a claim. If your household is not eligible to pay Council Tax or you’re in bands E-H and are still struggling with your bills, there's a fund for additional support you can apply for directly from your local authority.

29th March 2022