Energy bills to increase by £288 million following lockdown

Nearly 14 million households across the UK will see a £288 million energy bill hike due to lockdown.

The recent months of increased power use, while we’ve spent more time at home, will belatedly be added to bills which have estimated to have risen by £16 a month per household.

This is according to research from Uswitch.com, who have noted that official meter readers have been prevented from visiting properties, so current bills don’t accurately reflect increased power use.

Those most affected are the two million vulnerable households who rely on visits from meter readers, with direct debit jumps expected to be at £25 a month in September.

While 11 million bill payers who submit their own readings still face an average of a £20 per month leap, as many households haven’t submitted their readings since before lockdown.

However, switching services could help to keep bills down in the long term. Many people are still on a standard tariff, which may not be the cheapest option.

Energy switching services such as LookAfterMyBills automatically switches you to the cheapest energy company, potentially saving you up to £290. Alternatively,  BillBuddy provides a similar switching service finding you the cheapest energy deal.

The news comes as smart meter installers were allowed back to work across the UK this week, meaning people can get smart meters installed in their homes.

Speaking on the subject of smart meter advantages, uSwitch energy expert Will Owen says: “Smart meters are great for letting suppliers instantly know if your energy use has changed, meaning bills can be adjusted quickly.”

“Many of us are using more energy than usual during the lockdown as workers and their children stay at home.”

“Waiting for a meter reader can mean that bills don’t accurately show how much energy has been used, potentially resulting in nasty shocks down the line.”

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