Energy price cap: why you should submit smart meter readings to benefit from Ofgem's lower price cap

  • Ofgem will lower the energy price cap starting 1 July, saving households £122 annually
  • Households on Standard Variable Tariffs should submit meter readings to ensure accurate billing at the new rates
  • Millions of households without smart meters or pay-as-you-go meters need to submit readings
  • Those with smart meters should check they are working correctly and take a photo of their reading
  • Users with prepaid meters don’t need to submit readings, but might save money by waiting to top up after 1 July

Millions of households in England, Scotland and Wales will see their energy bills drop this summer due to a new price cap set by Ofgem, which takes effect on 1 July.

The regulator announced it is dropping its price cap from the current £1,690 for a typical dual fuel household to £1,568, a drop of £122 over the course of a year. This is around £500 less than the cap in July last year, when it was £2,074.

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Ofgem changes the price cap every three months based on several factors, the most important of which is the price of energy on wholesale markets.

The price cap does not limit a household’s total bills, people still pay for each unit of gas and electricity they use – the figures provided are just for an average-use household.

But households on Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) should submit meter readings as soon as possible after the cap takes effect to avoid being overcharged. Here is everything you need to know about it.

Why should I submit a meter reading?

Submitting a meter reading is a good idea because it ensures that your energy bill reflects your actual usage rather than an estimate, which can help you avoid being overcharged, especially when new price caps or rates come into effect.

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Accurate meter readings prevent your supplier from estimating your usage based on historical data, which might not accurately represent your current consumption, particularly if your energy usage patterns have changed.

submitting accurate readings ensures fair billing and avoids disputes, though bills could still rise for those who heavily used heating in June - and given the British weather, that very well might have been the case.

When should I submit a meter reading?

The best time to submit a meter reading is as soon as possible after a new price cap or rate change takes effect.

In this case, with Ofgem's new price cap coming into force on Monday 1 July, you should submit your meter reading on that day or shortly thereafter.

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This timing ensures that your energy consumption is billed at the new, lower rate, and helps avoid any discrepancies or overcharges based on the previous, higher rate.

Who needs to submit a reading?

Households without smart meters or pay-as-you-go meters, of which there are approximately 29 million in the UK, should provide readings.

Those with smart meters don't need to submit readings as these are automatically sent to suppliers, but it is advisable to check that the meter is working correctly. Taking a photo of the meter reading on 1 July can also help to resolve any disputes if they arise at a later date.

Prepaid meter users also don’t need to submit readings, but energy paid for after 1 July will be cheaper, which might influence when you choose to top up - if you're running low, you might save money by waiting until after 1 July to top up.

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How do I submit a meter reading?

Submitting a meter reading to your supplier is typically a straightforward process.

Most energy suppliers will have a customer portal on their website where you can log in to submit your meter reading. Look for a section like "Submit Meter Reading" or "Account Services."

If your supplier has a mobile app, you can also usually submit your meter reading through the app in a process similar to the online portal.

If apps and website aren’t your thing, you can call your supplier's customer service number and provide your meter reading over the phone. but make sure to have your account number and meter reading handy.

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Some suppliers accept meter readings via email, and certain suppliers even allow you to text your meter reading. Check your supplier’s website for the correct information on if you can do this, and how.

Share your thoughts and experiences with fellow readers. Have you noticed a difference in your bills? Do you have any tips for others? Join the conversation and leave a comment.

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