BRITISH Gas customers have just a few days left to take action to avoid facing higher bills.
The energy supplier is asking customers to submit meter readings by July 14 following the price cap reduction.
Regulator Ofgem has confirmed regular electricity and gas bills are capped at £2,074 a year from 1 July.
That means reducing the price ceiling will reward households struggling with the cost of living with annual savings of £426.
But it’s important for households to make sure they read the meter to make sure they’re not being charged more than they use.
An updated meter reading will mean your provider has a better understanding of your usage.
That means it will then be able to charge you fairly.
Energy providers often ask you to read regular meter readings from your gas and electricity meters to figure out how much they should charge you.
British Gas customers have until 14 July to submit a claim – if they do not, the supplier will estimate their usage instead.
This could mean that they end up paying more than they use.
The deadline is July 14 to give British Gas enough time to estimate your usage before billing you.
However, if you’ve read the meter ahead of time but can’t send it, don’t worry.
Simply contact British Gas when you can and they will apply the reading to your account so you are charged correctly.
Once you’ve finished reading it, you’ll need to submit it via the British Gas website:
We have already explained how to get and send meter readings.
If you have a smartwatch, your readings will be taken automatically so you don’t need to send them.
If you have a prepaid meter, you don’t need to do anything.
How can I cut my energy bill?
Check if you are eligible for support
Millions of people also lined up to receive living expenses payments worth up to £1,350.
The first part of the £900 payment has been paid to millions of people for certain benefits, including Universal Credit and Pension Credit.
Meanwhile, a £150 payment is currently being made available to millions of people with disabilities.
In addition, pensioners entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment for the winter of 2023/24 will receive an additional £150 or £300 paid in addition to their usual payment at the end of the year.
Energy providers also offer a variety of energy programs and grants to help you if you are struggling.
Here is a list of plans open right now:
- British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Families Foundation
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Customer Support Fund EDF
- E.ON and E.ON’s Next Sponsorship
- Octopus Energy Foundation
- OVO Energy
- Scotland’s Power Hardship Fund
Get a one-time fuel voucher from your energy provider if you are using a prepaid meter.
Consider switching to direct debit
Households that pay their gas and electricity bills when they receive their bills will still have to pay £138 more a year from today than those paying by direct debit or through a prepaid meter.
For most, the cheapest way to pay your energy bill is through direct debit.
From July 1, a typical household paying their energy bill by direct debit will pay the following rates:
- 7.51p per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) for gas
- 30.11p/kWh for electricity
- Fixed fee of 29.11p per day for gas
- A flat fee of 52.97p per day for electricity
That means a typical household could pay £2,073.98 a year.
This is based on the average household using 12,000 kWh of gas and 2,900 kWh of electricity per year.
But those who pay when they get their bill will sadly pay more.
They can expect to pay £2,211.63 over the same period.
This is because these households will have to pay the following flat rates and fees:
- 7.91p per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) for gas
- 31.72p/kWh for electricity
- A flat fee of 34.34p per day for gas
- Fixed fee 59.51p per day for electricity
These fees are issued to households paying by credit card, debit card, check, and payment order.
The simplest way to avoid these higher prices is to switch to direct debit.
You can contact your energy company to discuss this change.
Check and challenge your bill
If you pay your energy bill by direct debit, this monthly amount is said to be “fair and reasonable”.
If you don’t think so, you can complain directly to your provider in the first instance.
If you are not satisfied with the result, you can take it to an independent agency energy inspector to dispute, but there are a few steps before you get to that stage.
Your provider must clearly explain why they chose that amount to debit you directly.
If you have credit in your account, you have every right to get that money back – although some experts recommend keeping it there all summer, so your bills don’t go up in the winter. as you use more energy.
Your supplier must refund you or explain exactly why not, otherwise the regulator, Ofgem, could penalize suppliers if they fail to do so.
If you are disputing an invoice, a meter reading is a must.
If it’s lower than your estimate, you can ask your provider to reduce your monthly direct debit to a more appropriate amount.
But be careful that you don’t go into debt later with a larger offset bill at the end of the year due to increased underpayments.
If you are unsuccessful in negotiating a lower payment, you can appeal to energy inspector.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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