This Morning: Martin Lewis explains the energy price cap
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The planned price cap increase from April 1 has prompted a mad rush amongst consumers, who have flocked to their providers, hoping to make use of cheaper rates. People who submit meter readings before the new cap takes effect on Friday can prevent suppliers from estimating their usage and applying the more expensive new rates. Some sites have reported 40,000 new readings on March 31 alone, causing issues for others as the unprecedented push clogs servers and leaves them shut out.
How can you get a smart meter?
Smart meter users will manage to escape much of the chaos and circumvent the coming price increase.
They provide a two-way connection between consumer and supplier with real-time energy readings.
Each meter comes with an in-home display that shows total consumption, allowing customers to understand where they can make savings.
They have two primary elements, the meter, which exports information to providers and the at-home display.
The latter element shows how much energy people use and the total costs.
To receive one, customers must contact their providers, as each firm follows its own practice.
How they complete the installation will depend on whether they own or rent a home.
Installing a meter for homeowners
Most firms have committed to offering a meter to each home in their network by 2025, so many people will have already had an opportunity.
Customers will need to arrange a date and time to install the new meter.
Their providers will send over a trained staff member to complete the setup, which should take a couple of hours.
Installing a smart meter for renters
Renters have diminished control over the setup of their home, which is ultimately owned by their landlord.
They should first consult with the homeowner before deciding to set up a smart meter.
Experts believe the meters are “mutually beneficial” as they allow renters and landlords to save.
What should you do if you can’t take a reading?
The last-minute panic will have prevented thousands of people from submitting their reading, but they still have a few options.
Ahead of tonight’s deadline, experts have advised those who can’t make it to take a photo of their meter with evidence of the date.
Some customers, such as those under Octopus Energy’s care, can submit theirs over the next five days to take advantage of the cheaper prices, but they will need to check with their supplier first.
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