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Martin Lewis on how to protect yourself from the energy crisis
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The UK’s wholesale energy market has reached record highs in recent weeks, with a race to refill gas stores before the colder temperatures set in causing market prices to surge. Today’s cheapest fixes are 60 percent pricier than they were a year ago, making it difficult for low income families to pay their bills. Martin Lewis has shared advice on This Morning.
The energy price cap, which was introduced back in 2019, is intended to prevent customers paying excessively high prices.
However, it isn’t a cap on price, but rather a cap on the rate customers pay per unit.
The cap changes each October and April.
When it is set to change next month, energy bills will be much higher than they were a year ago.
As a result of the price hikes, five small UK energy firms have already gone out of business.
Appearing on This Morning today, Martin Lewis explained what British households should do before their firm goes bust.
He said that “at the moment”, energy firms are supplying energy at “low cost and that means firms are going bust”.
“We have seen six go – you mentioned Avro and Green, there’s also People’s Energy and Utility Point, and PFP, Money Help – have gone in the last two weeks,” Martin added.
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The money saving expert continued: “If things don’t change, and wholesale prices don’t drop, there are some doomsday predictions where 30 energy firms will go.
“These aren’t just small firms – some of these firms that are in trouble right now and have announced they are calling in finances have over a million customers.
“And we may be left with only six to 10 energy suppliers, unless wholesale gas prices start to drop.”
Martin then went on to advise what “everyone” should do before this happens, no matter “who you are” or “who your energy bill provider is”.
The Money Saving Expert founder outlined the most important task to do, saying: “If you’ve got an online log-in, go onto your computer, take a screengrab of what the current status of your bill is – where you are with the credit you have – and just grab the information there.
“Because when energy companies go under, they do it very very quickly, without warning, and they tend to pull their websites down,” he warned.
“At least this way – I’m not saying it’ll make that much of a difference – you have a level of protection on it.”
But what happens when your energy bill provider eventually goes bust?
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Martin said: “There’s a thing called the Ofgen safety net.
“What that does is you will be auto ported to what they call a supplier of last resort – it’s a silly title – you will be moved to a new firm.
“And that will happen automatically, and you don’t need to do it. All you need to do when you know your provider has gone bust is take a meter reading and sit and wait until you’re told your supplier’s been moved across.
“Some people try and switch once they know their firm has gone bust – it can work, but Ofgen the regulator says not to do it, and my view is you can fall between the cracks if you do that.”
The financial expert added: “You may as well just let it happen.”
However, Martin stressed that when your supplier goes bust, it does not mean your energy supply will stop.
“You will still pay for your energy,” he said.
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