Everyone in the UK is being urged to take a meter reading on their gas or electricity meter tonight, before midnight, due to a change to bills that could end up costing you money if you don’t take action.

Ofgem has handed out a price cut from Monday, April 1 for every household in the UK currently on a variable tariff (ie, not on a fix – which will be most people given fixes have been so expensive lately).

Put simply, today you are being charged more every time you use gas or electricity than you will be from Monday, April 1. From April, every time you put the heating on or boil the kettle will be an average of 12% cheaper.

Read More: British Gas, OVO and EDF customers handed £238 boost

Prices are going down by an average of 14% on Monday, April 1 – or roughly £238 for gas and electricity for an average household.

But energy firms including British Gas, EDF, OVO and Octopus as well as Scottish Power only know how much energy you use by tracking your gas and electricity meters and even smart meters do not necessarily send information back to energy firms right up-to-the-minute, and in any case there have been reports of smart meter malfunctions and meters not reading accurately at all times.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has told people across the UK to take action before the end of Sunday night, ideally as close to midnight as possible.

You don’t necessarily need to submit the reading tonight – just take the reading tonight, as many energy firms will allow you to backdate the reading to Sunday, as long as you have a photograph to prove it. In previous years many energy websites crashed at 11.55pm because everyone tried to submit a reading at once.

Energy bills are changing from Monday - take a reading asap
Energy bills are changing from Monday – take a reading asap

You need to prove how much you did and didn’t use and when by taking a meter reading, ideally with a photograph of the meter so you can prove the reading if it’s queried by an energy firm, especially if you decided to save some loads of washing or high energy use for Monday.

For example, especially if you have a traditional ‘dumb’ meter, the energy company might assume you used more energy during this week’s more expensive billing period. For example, if you used a gaming PC for six hours on Monday, but you didn’t take a reading on Sunday, the energy firm might assume at least some of that high energy usage happened on Sunday, and would therefore bill you more than you actually owe because you used the energy at a cheaper rate than you were charged for.

Martin Lewis told his followers: “It’s meter reading week this week, so if you’ve a question on energy bills, whether you should fix, whether you need do a reading or not, smart meters etc. Then it’s the subject of my podcast, so just ask your question by reply and we’ll cover as many as possible…”

Martin previously said about meter readings during price change periods: “To make sure there are no discrepancies in the amount you’re charged on the higher rate and on the lower rate when prices change, it’s a good idea to give a meter reading to your supplier on or around Sunday. This stops your supplier from estimating your usage, and potentially assuming you’ve used more at the higher rate than you actually have.”

Of course if you’re reading this on Monday it’s still a good idea to take a reading as soon as possible on Monday to make sure your bill is as accurate as can be.

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