I'm an energy bill expert – the exact date you need to do a meter reading revealed | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS have just weeks left to do a simple check that could help save money on their energy bills.

Millions will see their bills climb by £1,578 in October on average – which marks an eye-watering 80% increase.

Around 22million households are on standard variable tariffs that are subject to the price cap.

It's vital you do a meter reading before the bill hike or risk paying more for your energy bill, Which? sustainability editor Emily Seymour said.

That's because taking a meter reading before the new price cap comes into force will help you to be billed accurately.

"It will stop you paying more than you need to for any energy you use before October 1,"Emily said.

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She explains exactly when to do a meter reading – and what you need to know about doing one.

When should you take a meter reading?

You should take your meter reading at the end of September, Emily said.

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"Anyone on a variable tariff should remember to take their energy readings on or close to 30th September so they can make sure they’re charged the correct amount for any energy used before the price cap hike takes effect," she said.

Taking a reading at this point means you – and your energy firm – know exactly how much energy you have used under the lower price.

If you don't send in meter readings, your provider will send an estimated bill, which could be much higher than what you're using in reality.

Avoid paying extra

It's important to take a picture of your meter readings and send it into your supplier.

"Doing so will mean you can cross reference your bills with your usage – and if you spot anything that doesn't look right, you can contact your supplier to question it," she said.

"Some energy companies also have automated phone lines you can use to submit meter readings, you can also try calling these numbers or emailing if you can’t submit readings online."

If you think you're not using as much energy as what you're being charged for, then you should get in touch with your provider and send them the pictures you have to try and get a better rate.

You might also want to check whether your meter is working properly.

Although Citizens Advice says meter faults are rare, they can happen – and it could be causing a billing mistake.

If you've sent a meter reading in and notice your bill is much higher than your meter reading but your supplier won't fix it, then you should take your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.

They handle issues between customers and suppliers and will look at your case and see if they can help you deal with the complaint.

It helps resolve issues on billing, installations and delays, loss of service, customer service, and switching suppliers.

If they help take your complaint on, they can only help back bill you for 12 months.

That means you won't be able to get help getting money back before this.

Last year households were urged by Citizens Advice to check for billing blunders.

How to get help with your energy bills

Energy suppliers offer cash grants to those hardest hit by bills rises.

The British Gas hardship fund can give you up to £1,500 free cash towards bills.

You can get £150 off your energy bills with the Warm Home Discount scheme.

While when temperatures plummet, those in low income households can get a £25 Cold Weather payment.

The Household Support Fund is run by individual councils, and you can apply for £300 in free cash for bills.

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If you're worried about falling behind on bills or if you're in debt. there are plenty of organisations where you can get free advice, including:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

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