Martin Lewis warns people who pay energy bills by monthly direct debit to act this week

Martin Lewis talks about money in pictures

Martin Lewis has said this week is 'meter reading week' ahead of the new energy price cap

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 27/09/2023

- 11:14

Martin Lewis has issued an energy bills warning ahead of Ofgem’s new energy price cap coming into effect on Sunday

Martin Lewis has urged people who pay their energy bills via monthly direct debit to take a meter reading this week.

The warning comes ahead of the new Ofgem energy price cap coming into effect from Sunday, October 1.

The price cap will fall from £2,074 to £1,923 for a dual fuel household paying by direct debit based on the current typical domestic consumption values (TDCV) rate.

Writing in the weekly Money Saving Expert’s Money Tips email, Mr Lewis explained the new energy price cap was falling on average by seven per cent.

Meter reading

People who pay energy bills by monthly direct debit and don't have a working smart meter may want to take a meter reading this week


He explained that the 90 per cent of homes in England, Scotland and Wales who are on a price-capped tariff could therefore pay less for the same energy they use.

The price cap is a limit on the standing charge and unit rates for firms’ standard tariffs, meaning people who use more energy will pay more.

Ahead of the price cap change, Mr Lewis said this week is “meter reading week”.

He said those with a working smart meter shouldn’t need to do anything, but those who don’t will need to act.

Writing in the newsletter, the financial journalist said: “If you don't have a smart meter, or it doesn't work, try to take a meter reading within a few days either side of the rate change (if after Sunday most let you backdate a few days) to reduce the risk of your supplier estimating you've used more at the higher rate than you actually have.

“Take a pic of the meter for extra peace of mind.”(sic)

Despite the price cap falling, Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley has warned energy bills will be “worse than last year” for some households.

He also warned that many should expect their bills to be “very similar” to last winter.

This is due to government support, such as the Energy Bill Support Scheme which provided a £400 discount on energy bills, having ended.

Speaking to MPs, Mr Brearley said: “When I look across the market this winter and I think about how does that play out for us this winter, I should start by saying we have a full focus on making sure customers are protected this winter.

Energy bill email on mobile phone

Energy bills are set to be 'very similar' or 'worse' this year as Government support has ended, the Ofgem chief executive has warned


“There is some positive news. The market is more stable, it is less volatile and prices are lower than this time last year.

“This time last year, we were anticipating and seeing prices at around £4,200 a year without Government support.

“And last year, Government did step in to give tens of billions of pounds of support to customers.

“But there is a reality for customers this year: That support is not available. So, for many people, their bills will be very similar this year, and possibly worse for some, than they were last year.”

Martin Lewis is the founder of Money Saving Expert. The latest Money Tips email can be viewed here.

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