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How to take a meter reading ahead of the energy price cap rise

UK households have been advised to take a meter reading ahead of the energy price cap increase on Friday (April 1), which will increase by 54%.

Why do I need to take a meter reading?

After regulator Ofgem raised the price maximum on bills to £1,971, millions of homeowners will see their energy costs jump by £693 per year.

Once the new price cap comes into force, your energy provider will try and charge a higher price for the energy you have used. Sending your meter readings on the final day before the price increase, (March 31), will ensure that all of the energy you have used up until that point will be charged at your current rate.

This is done so that a line can be made between how much energy a household used before and after the price increase.

“We’d recommend sending metre readings to your supplier ahead of the price cap rise on 1 April,” Gillian Cooper, Citizens Advice’s head of energy policy, said.

How to take a meter reading

Smart meters will send a reading to your energy provider for you, but it’s a good idea to note down what it says so you can quote it back to your provider if necessary.

You should see five black or white digits followed by one or more red numbers on a single rate digital metre. Ignore the other digits and write down the first five black or white numbers.

A two-rate digital metre, on the other hand, will contain two rows of numbers. The top one, labelled ‘low’ or ‘night,’ indicates how many units of cheaper electricity you’ve used, while the lower one, labelled ‘normal’ or ‘day,’ indicates how many units of standard-price electricity you’ve used.

(This only applies to those who pay less for electricity at specific times.)

You should write down the first five digits of both rows, ignoring any red numbers and make sure to keep a note of the dates you took a meter reading.

Households should also send regular meter readings, ideally on the same day each month, to avoid their supplier estimating their energy usage and perhaps overcharging them when the summer months approach and they use less heat.

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