Martin Lewis, 45, Money Saving Expert, also known as the MSE or Money Saving Expert, explained how you can save £340 on your energy bills.
The Money Saving Expert, also known as MSE, warned of a gas and electricity price hike from British Gas, EDF Energy and EON. Speaking on This Morning, he told presenters: “Most people are wasting over £300 a year – it’s time to stop that.”
He outlined how energy customers can save a huge sum of money every year through simply changing tariffs, reducing your standard bill by hundreds.
Who’s rising prices, when and how much?
Last week the big announcement was from British Gas – it is putting up both gas and electricity prices for those on its standard tariff by an average 5.5 per cent on 29 May. This is equivalent to around £60 added on top of a typical bill.
Yet it’s not the only firm doing this, after British Gas’ announcement, EDF then said it would increase its standard price on electricity by 2.7 per cent (gas prices won’t change) on 7 June, equivalent to around £16 on a typical bill.
Plus last month Eon did what I call a backdoor price hike, not announced like the others, because its rates won’t change. From this Thursday it’ll ditch some ‘dual fuel’ (ie, gas & electric) discounts and up some standing charges – equivalent to an average rise of £22 a year on average.
Martin Lewis advised how to save money on your energy bill in just minutes
Will other firms follow?
When British Gas does price hikes, the other Big 6 energy firms often bleat like sheep and follow. When British Gas put prices up this time, I said I thought it was a slightly more difficult call this time, because even after this rise, British Gas’ standard tariff isn’t quite the most expensive.
Yet on balance my thought was we’d see some others follow suit, after all in a PR sense, British Gas will face the full flak, so they’ll get less of a hit if they can sneak in afterwards. And indeed EDF’s rise just two days later shows this seems to be the case.
What can people do about this?
We live in a market where the ‘do-somethings’ pay far less than the ‘do-nothings’. It’s no secret that British Gas and all the other big six providers aren’t cheap. In fact if you’re sitting on their standard tariff, frankly you’re being ripped off, and with typical bills could cut the costs from around £1,140 to a little over £800 for the same usage, a saving of £340. Some save far more if they’ve higher usage.
Martin Lewis: The Money Saving Expert explained how to save money on your energy bills
Martin Lewis: He explained how switching tariff could save you hundreds on your energy bill
Switching energy supplier is not complicated. In fact it only takes minutes to find your cheapest deal and then it’s switched over in 17 days. Those who worry about switching, don’t – it’s the same pipes, gas, meter, safety – you don’t lose supply – the only difference is price and customer service. And there’s no break in supply when you do switch.
As your cheapest depends on where you live and what you use, there’s no one winner. So just plug your details into Martin’s ‘Cheap Energy Club’ or any other Ofgem-approved comparison site and it’ll give the best deal for you. It’s best if you have your bills to hand to do this, but even if not, most comparison sites will estimate for you and the sin of inaccuracy isn’t as big as the sin of doing nothing.
Though do beware, as comparison sites are now allowed to only show you tariffs that pay them, which means you may not see all the deals (for the sake of transparency Martin’s Cheap Energy Club defaults to all deals). Though sadly these won’t work if you’re in Northern Ireland.
Those who aren’t online can call up some comparison sites too (or ask friends who are more web savvy to help them).
When you compare, the cheapest are always small companies no one has heard of, is that scary?
When people talk about the difficulty of switching I think it’s not the comparison, but it’s picking their winner. The huge encouragement given for new entrants to the energy market is actually putting many off switching.
Martin Lewis: He discussed the British Gas price hike and how to beat it
And to an extent there’s good reason. The energy market is swamped with new firms, and often at launch they offer super-cheap deals to build a customer base; yet feedback is limited or poor.
Yet usually the first five or more firms are often new, if that worries you, simply scroll down the comparison site results to one you know, or one which has a good customer service feedback rating (some allow you to filter by this). The savings can still be over £200 – and if you’re nervous better to go for that.
Last week, Martin Lewis marriage tax advice explained how to save as much as £900 every year.
Martin appeared on Good Morning Britain to reveal that married couples may be due a free £900. Over one million couples haven’t taken advantage of the tax break, meaning there is £900 million worth of money to be claimed.
He said: “The marriage tax allowance launched three years ago, but there are still over 1 million eligible couples that haven’t yet claimed it. It works for married couples or those in civil partnerships (not just cohabiting) where one pays tax at the basic 20 per cent rate and the other is a non-taxpayer.”
To benefit from marriage tax allowance, one of you must earn an income of £11,850 or less.