UK

Energy expert explains five important things to check on your next bill

Energy bills are rising for millions of homes across the UK – so it’s important to check your bill carefully to make sure you’re not overpaying. Here are the five things you need to look at

Energy bills are rising across the UK

Getting to grips with your energy bill has never been more important, so we explain five things you need to check to avoid overpaying.

It comes as energy bills are due to rise for millions of homes from next month.

The regulator Ofgem has confirmed it is increasing its price cap by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 from April 1 – up by 54% and a huge hit to household bills.

Prepayment customers will be worse off, with a jump of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017.

The energy price cap sets a limit on the rates a supplier can charge for each unit of gas and electricity you use and is currently reviewed twice a year.

How the energy bills crisis affects you

It isn’t a cap on your total bill – as the name suggests – so if you use more energy, you’ll pay more, or use less and you’ll pay less.

As costs are due to go up, we look into what you need to check now on your energy bill.

Are you worried about how you’ll afford your energy bills? Let us know: [email protected]

Five things to know about your energy bill

Tashema Jackson, energy expert at energyhelpline.com, has shared the following things to look out for when it comes to checking your bill.

She said: “Energy bills are never pleasant to deal with, as they are typically one of every households largest outgoings in any given month.

“If you do spot a mistake, or aren’t sure about any of the information on there, speak to your supplier, they should fix any problems immediately, so you aren’t left out of pocket in the long run.”

1. How much energy have you used and how much it will cost?

The first thing to check on your energy bill, is how much energy you’ve used. Check what period your energy bill is for and how much that will cost you.

This will normally feature high up on the letter or email sent from your supplier.

If you are a dual fuel customer, it may be split out into two numbers, one for gas and one for electricity, but there will be a combined total on there too.

Our Cost of Living team of experts are here to help YOU through a very difficult year.

They’ll be bringing you the latest money news stories and also providing specialist advice.

Whether it’s rocketing energy bills, the cost of the weekly shop or increased taxes, our team will be with you all the way.

Every Thursday at 1pm they will take part in a Facebook Live event to answer your questions and offer their advice. Visit facebook.com/dailymirror/live to watch. You can read more about our team of experts here.

If you have a question – or want to share your story – please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

2. Is your energy usage actual or estimated?

It should state on your energy bill if the reading you’re being charged for is estimated or not.

If you provide regular meter readings, or have a smart meter, the energy usage should be accurate.

But saying this, it doesn’t hurt to double check what you used in the last month and see if it is unusually high or low.

For customers who have an estimated usage, it is worthwhile submitting an actual meter reading to make sure you’re being billed accurately.

3. Am I in credit or in debt?

Because you pay the same amount by direct debit across the whole year, you are likely to either be in credit or in debt to your supplier.

This is fairly normal, and it is only if you are out of cycle that you should worry.

For example, if it gets to October and you are already in debt on your account, that would suggest you’ve either not been making enough payments during the summer, or you’ve used more energy than anticipated.

The same principle is at work if you get to April and find that you are in credit with your supplier, that would suggest your direct debits are too high and may need to be reduced.

If you’re in debt, then you have used more energy than you paid for, but if you’re in credit then you have paid for more energy than you actually used.

4. Is my tariff right?

When you signed up to your energy supplier, you will have been given a unit rate and standing charge for each energy type.

If you find that your bills are higher than you expected, it can be worth checking to make sure you are on the right tariff, as mistakes do happen.

But remember, if it has been more than 12 months since you last switched supplier then you will likely be on the default rate, which will be higher than any fixed rate you’d previously been on.

5. When does my deal end?

If you are on a fixed rate deal, then it is worth checking to see when your deal ends.

If you choose not to fix into another deal, you will be moved onto a standard variable tariff, which is the maximum they are allowed to charge for a non-fixed rate.

This is linked to the energy price cap.

This deal was traditionally the worst offer on the market, but the energy crisis means it is now usually the cheapest tariff you can get as most cheap fixes have disappeared.

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