MONEY saving expert Martin Lewis has issued words of advice to households with energy bills set to rise by 65% later this year.
In his weekly newsletter, Lewis said he felt “sick” writing it, but the coming winter would be “bleak” unless there was further intervention.
Just last week, the financial guru said urgent action was needed to avert a “national financial cataclysm”.
In the weekly newsletter he said: “Though the clock is ticking, by the time the new PM is in place, we’ll know the new price cap, so rising direct debits will be panicking millions.
“For now, let me explain what’s coming, and try to mitigate it where I can.”
With the energy price cap set to go over £3,000, Lewis issued the following advice to consumers:
You could get a fixed-rate deal
Based on predictions for how the energy cap will go, Lewis said consumers could pay 57% more than the current price cap on their energy bills over the next year.
But if you can get a fixed-rate deal for less than that figure, it might be worth considering signing up.
Despite this, he warned the cost of fixed-rate deals had “rocketed” in recent weeks, so you may have to shop around for the best deals.
Cost of living payments
Lewis highlighted some of the payments being made.
The first £326 instalment of the £650 cost of living payment has already started being paid to eight million households.
The second instalment is set to be paid in the Autumn, although a specific date is yet to be confirmed by the government.
If you’re a pensioner on pension credits as well, you’ll also be entitled to the £650 payment.
What other support is there?
On top of the £650 cost of living grant, there’s also the Energy Bill Support Scheme, announced by then chancellor Rishi Sunak in May.
The scheme will see all households with a domestic electricity connection receive a £400 grant from October.
Households don’t need to apply for the scheme – it’s expected that in most cases electricity suppliers will apply the reduction to bills automatically.
As the money is a grant and not a loan, it does not need to be paid back.
You can also try the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which sees the government offer some households a £150 rebate on their energy bill.
And a lot of energy companies have hardship funds, where people struggling with their bills can get targeted support.