The advice from MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis saw the websites and phone lines for all the major energy firms crash, as thousands of households tried to supply a meter reading.
Martin Lewis has urged households not to panic if they weren’t able to submit a meter reading to their energy company yesterday.
The MoneySavingExpert founder had told worried Brits to make a note of their energy consumption before the Ofgem price cap shot up today.
However, the advice saw the websites and phone lines for all the major energy firms crash, as thousands of households tried to supply a meter reading.
But Martin has now reassured people that it shouldn’t matter too much if they didn’t send over a meter reading yesterday.
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In a new video published to his Twitter page, the MSE chief said: “If you were to do it tomorrow (April 1) or the day after, or the day after that, just doing it around now reduces the wriggle room for a problem with estimates.
“A day or two out isn’t the biggest panic in the world.”
Most energy companies will give you around a week to submit a new meter reading, said Martin, which means you should be able to contact your energy firm in the next few days.
“Just take a photo of it, you’ve usually up to a week to get it to them,” he said in a separate tweet.
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Meanwhile, Octopus Energy has also told its customers they shouldn’t worry too much if they didn’t supply a meter reading yesterday.
In fact, it advises customers to do it on April 2. This is because that’s when the price rise comes in for Octopus customers that are on the variable rate.
Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy, said the company was currently receiving around 40,000 meter readings an hour, whereas a normal day would be a couple of thousand.
Shell Energy has added an emergency “log a ticket with your energy readings” to provide a way for people to avoid their website.
For those on a default tariff who pay by direct debit, the Ofgem price cap has gone up by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971.
Prepayment customers have seen a bigger jump, with their price cap going up by £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.
Those who are on the price cap tariff – so the variable standard rate – who don’t have a smart meter or prepayment meter, should do a meter reading today.
You don’t need to do a meter reading if you’re on a fixed rate tariff, as your rates won’t change in line with the price cap.
It is important to send regular meter readings, otherwise your energy supplier will estimate your usage and you could end up being overcharged.
A digital meter will show five numbers in black or white, and might be followed by one or more red numbers.
To send a meter reading, you’ll need to send the first five numbers shown from left to right (you can ignore any red numbers) to your energy supplier.
You should be able to do this over the phone, online or through an app.