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31 March 2022, 07:25
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has offered some advice ahead of tomorrow's energy price increase.
Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning ahead of Friday’s energy price cap rise.
On April 1, around 18 million households on standard tariffs will see an average increase of £693 - from £1,277 to £1,971 per year.
Meanwhile, around 4.5 million customers on prepayment plans will see an average increase of £708 - from £1,309 to £2,017.
But Money Saving Expert Martin has said there are a few things you can do to make sure you pay as little as possible.
Firstly, Martin explained that you should take a meter reading on March 31 to let your energy provider know exactly how much gas and electricity you used before the increase.
This means that you're letting your energy provider know that everything you used before April 1 should be charged at the current rate.
He said: "You are drawing a line in the sand that says to them: all the energy I have used until this point should be charged at the cheap rate.
"Do not estimate my usage, I am locking it down so you cannot charge me any more than the amount I've actually used from 1 April onwards."
Martin also revealed that canceling your direct debit might actually cost you more.
"If you're on typical usage, the price cap from 1 April - for somebody paying by direct debit - is £1,971 a year," he said.
"If you want to pay by quarterly bills, and that's what most people ditching direct debit tell me they're thinking of doing, then the price cap is £2,100.
"So that means you're paying over 6% more for the same usage than you do by direct debit, because there is a discount allowed for direct debit."
With energy bills expected to keep rising, Martin says the cheapest open market deal at the moment is around 40% more than the April price cap.
This means for many homes, the best thing is to stay on the price cap.
He said: "It is not worth fixing. You're better off to stay on the April price cap and then if nothing changes before that, go on to the new October price cap.
"Again, this is my best guess, I do not have certainty or surety here - it is a bit of crystal ball gazing."