Martin Lewis says British Gas, E.ON and Octopus customers must act at midnight | Personal Finance | Finance

Martin Lewis is urging people with British Gas, E.ON, EDF or Octopus Energy to take a meter reading from midnight tonight in order to get the cheapest possible energy.

At just past midnight on July 1, Ofgem is cutting energy prices by 7 percent for all households across the UK currently on a variable tariff – 85 percent of homes.

It means you’ll automatically pay less for your energy, both gas and electricity, on Monday than you did on Sunday, June 30.

But you need to make sure you don’t accidentally overpay more than you actually owe, by taking a meter reading as close to midnight as possible, although Martin did explain that if you wait until the next day the difference is just ‘a few pence’ so don’t literally lose sleep over it.

You can record this meter reading at midnight (or early as possible Monday morning if you’ve gone to bed already by then) but upload it within a few days to your energy supplier and backdate it to July 1.

It used to be that you had to upload the reading on the spot, but energy firms now give you a few days to upload it because customers used to crash websites uploading them all at once.

Martin Lewis explained on his latest podcast why you need to act.

He said: “On Monday, July 1, the energy price cap which dictates the price that 85% of homes in England, Scotland and Wales pay for their energy is dropping, it’s getting cheaper, by 7 percent.

“It’s the unit rates that are dropping, the standing charges are staying the same.

“The unit rate has dropped and that means higher users will see slightly more than 7 percent cut, lower users slightly less but for everyone it’s going down.

“Most people pay by monthly direct debit, where your average use is taken over the year and it’s smoothed out so you don’t have big cashflow issues in the winter.

“That is based usually on estimates of what you will use. Because the price is going to be dropping 7 percent, if you allow your energy firm to estimate your usage, it could estimate more at the higher rate before July 1 than it does afterwards because if it’s looking across a couple of months it might choose to allocate some of those units that you use to the higher rate period.

“To counter that, you either have a working smart meter, or you take a meter reading.

“When I first did this I suggested meter reading day and I crashed virtually every energy site.

“The real advice is, some point between now and next Wednesday- Thursday because you can backdate, go and get a meter reading.”

Martin added that this would get the most accurate results possible because it stops energy firms from estimating your usage and risking getting it wrong.

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