The energy price cap will fall by £151 on Sunday, 1 October, from £2,074 to £1,923 a year for a typical household with average use.
It means the average energy bill will drop below £2,000 for the first time since April 2022.
Customers are being urged to take and submit a meter reading before 1 October, to ensure their energy provider does not charge them for any gas and electricity after this date at the current higher rate.
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“While a fall in the energy price cap is good news, energy bills in the UK are still eye-wateringly high and as we head into the colder months, taking a meter reading is one way that could help curb any unnecessary costs,” comments Gareth Kloet, energy spokesperson for Go.Compare Energy.
Why you should submit a meter reading before 1 October
If you pay by direct debit, suppliers estimate your usage – but they also estimate when it’s used.
By submitting a meter reading before the price drop comes into force on 1 October, ideally the day before, on 30 September, it means your energy company cannot charge you at the higher rate for any units that have been used after that date. So, by taking a meter reading you’re ensuring you’re not overcharged based on your supplier’s estimate.
It’s generally a good idea to take meter readings down every month anyway, so your direct debit is more accurate. Make sure you always submit a meter reading whenever the energy price cap changes. After 1 October, the next change will take place on 1 January.
You don’t need to submit a reading if you have a smart meter that is working properly in smart mode, you’re on a fixed-rate tariff, or you have a prepayment meter.
HOW TO CUT YOUR ENERGY BILLS
It may be worth checking your tariff and seeing if there’s a cheaper one you can switch to.
“A number of fixed-rate tariffs have become available, which may be an option for those customers who want to protect themselves from the unpredictability of the energy market,” says Kloet.
“As well as shopping around, there are other things you can do to prepare yourself financially as we head into the winter months, taking a meter reading on 30 September being one, but also, trying to reduce your energy consumption will help minimise costs in the short and longer term, and will ultimately pay dividends.
“There are things you can do around the home to save energy, including making sure you’re not leaving devices in standby mode, buying energy-efficient appliances, swapping baths for showers and trying not to turn the thermostat right up as soon as the temperature drops outside. Also, if you’re fortunate enough to have a balance in credit with your energy provider, try to keep it there in preparation for the winter months.”
He adds: “If you are struggling to make payments and are concerned about energy bills, always talk to your energy provider in the first instance, as they have a duty to help. Do not be tempted to skip payments or just not pay – get in touch with them and they will discuss a payment plan with you.”
To help you keep energy bills low, check out our top tips on 13 ways to reduce your energy costs. If you're interested in the best ways to improve your energy efficiency and reduce costs, we explore radiators vs electric heaters, heated airers vs tumble dryers, and wood burning stove vs central heating.
Ruth is passionate about helping people feel more confident about their finances. She was previously editor of Times Money Mentor, and prior to that was deputy Money editor at The Sunday Times.
A multi-award winning journalist, Ruth started her career on a pensions magazine at the FT Group, and has also worked at Money Observer and Money Advice Service.
Outside of work, she is a mum to two young children, a magistrate and an NHS volunteer.
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