Capping your winter energy bills: Who benefits?

How to cut your energy bills

Winter is coming and with it comes higher energy bills as we turn on the heating.

Last week, consumers were given a glimmer of hope that bills might not be quite so bad this year, as the Prime Minister revived plans for an energy price cap.

SEE ALSO: Over eight million families charged £853 extra for energy

SEE ALSO: UK's worst energy suppliers named: Should you switch?

It was hoped it would be in place this year. However, it's now looking more likely to come into effect towards the end of 2018, or start of 2019.

But there is no need to wait for a price cap to save money on your gas and electricity, in fact many consumers already benefit from one.

Who already has a price cap?

About three million households across the UK already benefit from an energy price cap.

Homes with pre-pay energy meters will see bills for the next year going down by an average of £19.

This latest price cap for pre-pay meters came into force on 1 October, and built on the original price cap introduced in April.

Who will benefit from a cap?

Along with people on pre-pay energy meters, one million vulnerable consumers on the Warm Home Discount will benefit from an energy price cap from February 2018.

According to energy regulator Ofgem, this will see an extra £120 knocked off annual fuel bills. This is on top of the £140 discount for winter energy payments people on the Warm Home Discount already receive.

What can you do now?

You don't need to wait until the energy price cap is introduced to save on your energy bills. In fact, with winter on the way, now is the perfect time to look at ways to save.

Switch to save

The easiest way to save is to simply switch energy supplier. Go onto a price comparison site and in a few minutes, you'll be able to see how much you could save just by moving to a different company.

It really is that simple.

Reduce

Brits spend £2.2 billion a year on unnecessary heating, according to research by Direct Line. That's more than £80 per household!

So, if you want to knock some money off your next gas and electricity bill, just be careful about when you turn the heating on, and, if you're feeling a bit chilly, put on a jumper before putting on the radiator.

Get on the right tariff

Remember the last time you changed energy supplier? When your deal came to an end, assuming you didn't switch again, you were probably put on a standard variable tariff.

Around 12 million household are on one of these tariffs and tend to be among the most expensive deals on the market.

If you're on a standard variable tariff (to find out have a look on your last energy bill), switch as soon as you can.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

6 PHOTOS
Most outrageous bill mistakes
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Most outrageous bill mistakes
Carol Sandford, 72, called 118 118 from her mobile phone unaware of the charges involved. Calls to the number cost £1.88 per call and there is also a £2.57 per minute charge from landlines. TalkTalk raises this to £5.68 for the first minute and £3.28 per minute after that. TalkTalk told Carol the charge £81.12 charge was correct but luckily 118 118 were kinder, offering to repay the charge in full. Read the full story here.
One Londoner was more than a little confused when his debit card was declined while he was trying to buy just six bottles of American craft beers. But he quickly realised that instead of the £22.30 he owed, he had been charged £223,000! It's thought he punched in the PIN number before the machine was ready and it added the numbers to the total. Luckily the 28-year-old saw the funny side and laughed the incident off. Read more on the story here.

Early Lewis from Detroit was amazed to find his water bill was almost 100 times as much as he was expecting. The bill claimed that Lewis had used 3,740 gallons of water in just one hour. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the Water and Sewage Department admitted it was a mistake and subsequently charged Lewis the $36 he should have been charged initially. Read more on this story here

George MacIntosh, 73, was charged a staggering £200 for premium-rate gambling texts he didn't intend to sign up for. Unfortunately this wasn't a scam but a legal service from a company called Zamano. It seems the retired vicar had accidentally signed up after responding to an initial text from the company. Read the full story here.
Philip Groves was amazed to receive a £1,411 bill from Vodafone last year for his 10-year-old daughter Trinity's phone. It turns out Trinity had watched 28 hours of instructional loom band videos on YouTube, assuming her phone was using wifi. But the wifi had cut out, leaving her phone using the data allowance at it's highest rate. Vodafone refused to cancel the bill and threatened legal action. Read more here
Daniel Pontin was in for quite a shock after opening a gas bill charging him £31,000 for a year's worth of gas in a one-bedroom home. Pontin claimed his meter was broken when he moved in and was initially charged £35 a month for six months before he stopped receiving bills. When the huge £31,000 estimated bill arrived Npower told Pontin to ignore it while they investigated. Read the full story here
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