MoneySavingExpert Chair, Martin Lewis · Editor, Marcus Herbert

# Energy bills go up TOMORROW - meter read TODAY!

edited 31 March 2022 at 8:26AM
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edited 31 March 2022 at 8:26AM
**edit**

Ok DFW’ers - it’s now under a month away, and it’s very much time to get heads out of sand and find out where we REALLY stand. So - have you sat down yet and worked out how much (at a minimum) your home energy costs are going to be over the next year?

If you use a meter reading app of some description - it’s astonishingly easy - for electricity at least. Take the reading from this time last year, then read your meters again now. Subtract reading 1 from reading 2 and bingo, you have the units used in the last 12 months. Some additional maths is needed if you’re on an economy 7 or similar tariff - as you also need the spit between peak, and off peak rates. Gas is a little more tricky as the meters read in either cubic metres (m3) or cubic feet (ft3) and there are conversions to be used to get you to the kWh readings…your bill should give you the conversion - failing that a quick search on the energy board here will find it. For those without apps it might be easiest to go back to bills one year apart.

Once you have your use figures - then time to check what your new rates from April 1st will be. If you are lucky enough to still be on a fix, then woohoo - you’re probably quids in for a while - but if that fix is due to end inside the next year I’d suggest still doing the sums to predict how much it might increase once the fix ends.

Using our electric use as an example:

Standing charge: 36.24p/day X 365
Peak rate: 34.34p/kWh x 1291 units
Off peak rate: 17.65p/kWh x 4095 units
Expected annual cost = £1272.56
we’ve been paying £70 a month - and we now know that budgeting an additional £35 a month on top of that should see us OK. (For transparency, we do have a small amount of gas use as well but it’s only for cooking, and even on the increased prices £10 a month sees that covered, with a little to spare.)

Remember
- the price cap is a cap on the unit price and standing charge you are charged (on a standard variable tariff only) - it hopefully sounds obvious but some are thrown by it - it is NOT an “all you can eat” maximum you’ll pay.
- the quoted “average energy cost for a household” is just that - an average. It’s based on a hypothetical family, in a hypothetical house, with hypothetical levels of use - it WILL be different for you. It might be lower, but it also might be higher.
- your direct debit amount is NOT your bill - it’s just a sum that your energy company “think” will cover your usage. If you use more - you’ll end up in debt. If you use less - you’ll build up credit.
- most importantly IMO - KNOWING WHERE YOU STAND IS ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION. It might be scary, but it’s WAY less scary than being taken by surprise by massively increased bills along the line.
- the best way of knowing that your charges are accurate is to take regular readings and feed them back to your energy company. And yes - even if you have smart meters, learn how to read them (the actual meters, NOT the IHD) and check what they are feeding back is correct at least a couple of times a year. Minimum. Keeping notes of the readings yourself is also a good idea.

Finally - and the most important thing here probably. Set a reminder - on your phone, perhaps , to take meter readings and submit them as late as you possibly can on 31st March. Remember that the systems might be busy as a lot of folk will be doing the same, but even if you can’t submit online on the night, you can call up the following day and give them retrospectively. (I’d suggest taking photos of the readings for your own records, and in case your energy company decide to challenge what you’re giving them.)

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## Replies

• Forumite
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My provider has a section where I can compare usage over different years.

Last year I spent £523 on gas and electric, they think it will cost me £1085 for this year or £2271 if I fix my tariff.

My usage was:
1601 electric
6435 gas

My personal circumstances have changed as I'm no longer working from home and don't expect to use the same amount of kWh as I did in 2021.

I'm also using the timer on my GCH for 30 minutes on a weekday morning and a couple of hours of on / off / on in the evenings, rather than on when I'm cold, wrapped under blankets, and off an hour before I go to bed.

I switch off lights when not in the room, but barely use any, aside from kitchen and bathroom. My lounge has a lamp as it's a softer light and a rechargeable light is used in the main bedroom.

With food I mainly cook on the gas hob, rather than a full roast using the oven and hobs.

All the heavy gardening has been finished, therefore no shredding is required from now on, again saving electric.

I know I'm a lucky one who can afford to risk the SVR or even take a silly fix. It's a gamble, but one I'm willing to take.

• Forumite
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With me the electricity unit price is going up about 11p, and the standing charge is doubling to around 47p, on April 1st.

Remember it will rise again later in the year.

Don`t have historic readings as my old provider went bust, and I was transferred to Eon next.

Luckily spring is around the corner, and keeping usage to a minimum, should see my bill not rise that much.
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• Forumite
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I feel incredibly lucky - my fix expired back in Sep and I picked up a fix from Eon Next that runs until Sep 2023 (Electric: 20.71 p/kWh 18.06 p/day).

Looking at the current and predicted future prices I honestly don't know how some people are going to cope. I also worry that some people who are not as dialled in on financial matters might not even know this is coming, or to what extent their prices are going to rise.
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• Forumite
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With me the electricity unit price is going up about 11p, and the standing charge is doubling to around 47p, on April 1st.

Remember it will rise again later in the year.

Don`t have historic readings as my old provider went bust, and I was transferred to Eon next.

Luckily spring is around the corner, and keeping usage to a minimum, should see my bill not rise that much.
🎉 MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016 🎉
SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
2023 "Gym Neutral Fund" - £11.87/£280 (Membership taken 01/2/23)🏋🏻♀️ 2023/24 Gym cost per use: at 01/02/23 £280.00 per visit! (1) 🏋🏻♀️
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• PPR Forumite
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We use around 2900kWh of electric per year and 6000kWh of gas per year.

Our monthly payment is expected to increase from the £95 per month we are currently paying to £130 a month from April.

We are still in credit from this winter which may reduce the monthly payment a little.

Fortunately we are in a position to soak up the extra costs but I know there will be lots of people who will struggle. Even so we are going to look at ways to reduce our energy consumption this year before Octobers further increase in prices.
• Forumite
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I am lucky as I have a spreadsheet with monthly readings for the last 4 years, so I know I am fairly consistant. Last year I did a big change of light bulbs to LED and now only a few rarely used are the old filament type - and thats mainly because I have not seen the size/shape in LED. Heating is turned down and set for shorter times, and I open the windows less when its blowy so that the house airs but does not lose too much heat.
I think there will be a huge problem later this year with food costs, fertiliser has already tripled in price to around £600 a tonne, and is expected to go closer to £1000 by summer, that plus the fact that wheat and other grain is normally imported from Ukraine and Russia will likely send prices soaring
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• edited 7 March 2022 at 10:08AM
Forumite
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edited 7 March 2022 at 10:08AM
With me the electricity unit price is going up about 11p, and the standing charge is doubling to around 47p, on April 1st.

Remember it will rise again later in the year.

Don`t have historic readings as my old provider went bust, and I was transferred to Eon next.

Luckily spring is around the corner, and keeping usage to a minimum, should see my bill not rise that much.
Yes - daftly enough we're in a similar position with not having access to older bills - ideally of course people should download and save them
I was with neon reef and zog, both sites now unavailable. I'd downloaded a final bill from neon reef but as my usage was consistently around 110kwh per month I can work out my annual usage. I didn't know what my annual usage from zog was but realised they emailed a monthly statement showing annual usage. Try checking old emails for monthly or annual statements.

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• Forumite
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I'd like to think that I keep my gas and electric as low as I can. Yearly costs are around £700.

I know my supplier increased the price in October, so I think it went up by about £50.

The next increase will see that yearly cost double. I am hoping that, with the warmer weather coming, to keep the gas to a minimum during the next 6 to 7 months but keep topping up with the same money for gas so that I have some kind of buffer for when winter hits.

I have no idea where I am going to get the extra money from though. I am hoping they have estimated that amount because I will not have £200 per month for gas and electric.

BTW I'm on pre payment smart meters.