Working from home: Expert explains how to claim for energy bills
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The new plan comes into force tomorrow which will see energy bills for customers increase by almost £100 a year. For six months from April 1, the price cap will increase by £86 to £1,238 for 11 million default tariff customers, and by £87 to £1,156 for four million prepayment meter customers.
Ofgem sets an energy price cap to limit the price suppliers can charge their customers for their electricity and gas twice a year.
Jonathan Brearly, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Energy bill increases are never welcome, especially as many households are struggling with the impact of the pandemic. We have carefully scrutinised these changes to ensure that customers only pay a fair price for their energy. “The price cap offers a safety net against poor pricing practices, saving customers up to £100 a year, but if they want to avoid the increase in April they should shop around for a cheaper deal.
“As the UK still faces challenges around COVID-19, during this exceptional time I expect suppliers to set their prices competitively, treat all customers fairly and ensure that any household in financial distress is given access to the support they need.
“The government and Ofgem have been working with the energy industry and consumer groups to support customers through this difficult time and I urge anyone worried about paying their energy bills to contact their supplier and access the help available.”
With the rise coming into force tomorrow, Britons still have time to switch to a cheaper provider if they want to.
The cheapest tariff depends on location and usage but there are a number of comparison tools you can use to see if you can save money with another provider.
Top energy deals at the moment include huge savings from Green and E.on.
According to MoneySavingExpert.com, customers can sign up for a 12 month fixed deal with Green for £915 a year.
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This is a huge saving of £223 that Britons can be spending elsewhere or saving.
Another cheap deal available right now is from supplier E.on where customers can make a huge saving of £172 with its 12 month fixed deal for £966 a year.
Guy Anker, deputy editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “Our message is, and has always been, that if you’re on a standard tariff, check if you can switch to a cheaper deal as many can save £100s.
“Don’t just sit back and accept the rip-off as the cheapest deals on the market are on average £200+/year cheaper than the new standard rates, and with many of us still spending more time at home and using more energy as a result, it makes our call even more pertinent.
“Plus switching is easy – even in a pandemic. No one needs to visit your home (unless you want a smart meter) and you won’t be left without gas or electricity. All that changes is the price and which firm bills you for your energy. It’s that straightforward.”
Using comparison sites and shopping around can be a good way to find the best deals on offer.
Ringing up your current supplier may also be a good way to see if there is any way you can cut the cost.
Energy regulator Ofgem also recently found that 18 energy suppliers have been overcharging customers, meaning many Britons could be owed a refund.
Ofgem said more than one million customers were collectively overcharged more than £7million for the failings and suppliers are now issuing refunds and redress payments worth £10.4million.
Several of the suppliers self-reported the issue to Ofgem which led to all suppliers being requested to self-assess their practises. This then revealed that 18 suppliers were not compliant between 2013-2020.
Affected suppliers including British Gas, E.On, npower, Scottish Power and SSE.
The 18 suppliers will be in contact with customers about any redress payments.
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