Bill-Iant: Martin Lewis’ urgent warning on energy bills could save you £200

Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning that people can save hundreds on their energy bills if they act fast.

 

The money guru has warned that one of the best deals available on the market expires tomorrow.

Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning for customers to switch and save on energy bills
Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning for customers to switch and save on energy bills Credit: Rex Features

Writing in his weekly newsletter, Lewis said: "There's an energy firm price war on. They're battling to be the top big name in the switching tables."

The leading offer at the moment can be found at Shell, where new and existing customers can pick up a Duel Fuel energy fixed deal for just £827 per year.

The current UK energy price cap - which applies to over 50% of households - is set at £1,042 per year, meaning a saving of £215 pounds from energy bills.

This savings figure factors in a £10 dual-fuel bill credit from Shell and £25 Cheap Energy Club dual-fuel cashback.

How to save on your energy bills

SWITCHING energy providers can sound like hassle - but fortunately it's pretty straight forward to change supplier - and save lots of cash.

Shop around - If you're on an SVT deal you are likely throwing away more than £300 a year. Use a comparion site such as MoneySuperMarket.com, uSwitch or EnergyHelpline.com to see what deals are available to you.

The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed deals - meaning you'll pay a fixed amount usually for 12 months.

Switch - When you've found one, all you have to do is contact the new supplier.

It helps to have the following information - which you can find on your bill -  to hand to give the new supplier.

  • Your postcode
  • Name of your existing supplier
  • Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
  • An up-to-date meter reading

It will then notify your current supplier and begin the switch.

It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won't be interrupted in that time.

The deal isn't available direct, so you'll have to go through a comparison site, such as the Money Saving Expert Energy Club.

But you'll need to be quick as the deal expires on Thursday, December 3. Once you've signed up, the fix lasts for 14 months.

Money Saving Expert notes that there are two slightly cheaper one year fixes available that have been excluded from its list of top deals.

One is from a smaller provider that MSE doesn't have customer service feedback on, while the other is from a firm with a poor service rating.

The second is PFP energy, which is charging £61 per month (£730 per year) but has no customer service ratings through Money Saving Expert yet.

What to do if you can't pay your bills

FALLING behind on your energy bills can be extremely stressful.

If you’re struggling to pay what you owe, contact your supplier as soon as possible.

Your provider has to help you come up with a solution, and you should be able to negotiate a deal that works for you both.

One option is to agree a payment plan where you pay off your debts in affordable instalments.

You may be able to pay off your debts directly from your benefits through the Fuel Direct Scheme.

A fixed amount will automatically be taken to cover what you owe plus your usage.

To be eligible, you must be getting one of the following benefits:

  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income support
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Universal Credit (but only if you’re not working)

If you cannot come to an agreement with your supplier, they may try to force you to get a prepayment meter installed.

In very rare cases, where you refuse to negotiate, your supplier might threaten you with disconnection.

Both deals appear on energy comparison sites, if you want to select them.

Money Saving Expert's second pick from the big providers is E.on, where customers can secure a fixed rate duel fuel bill of £842 per year - saving up to £200 per household.

British Gas comes third with a fixed rate offer of £845 per year, but it is only available for new customers, so existing ones are better off switching to make big savings.

Scottish Power has a deal of £875 per year that existing customers who are happy with their service can switch to.

Money Saving Expert says that Scottish Power has a cheaper new-customer deal at £845 per year, but that this hasn't been included in the top table as the customer service rating is poor.

 

Source: The SUN