It is just one month until the price of energy is set to soar in the UK. The rising energy price cap will see the average household energy bill rise by 54%. As a result, many homeowners are likely to feel a significant financial squeeze.
Luckily for some, it may be possible to delay the higher energy prices with a clever loophole that prepaying meter customers could use to beat the hike. Here’s how.
How can users delay rising energy costs?
Households with prepayment meters may be able to take advantage of a savvy loophole that could help them delay paying more for their energy. The loophole is entirely legal and works with the majority of UK energy suppliers.
If you have an old prepayment meter, you could hold onto cheaper energy prices by stockpiling your credit. This is because the rates of prepaid meters will not change until the first time you top up after the price hike. Therefore, you will not have to pay the higher prices until any existing credit you have on your meter runs out.
Stockpiling your credit involves topping up your meter as much as possible before 1 April. The aim is to go into the month of April with your meter topped up as much as possible so that you can hold out before topping up again after the price rise. As a result, those with older meters may be able to make the most of cheaper energy prices for longer.
Unfortunately, the loophole is only applicable to homeowners with an old prepayment meter. More modern smart meters will change their rates automatically when the energy price cap changes. Households with these meters will not be able to delay paying more.
Is there a limit to how much you can top up?
Stockpiling your credit is a great way to delay rising energy prices. However, there is a limit to how much you can put into your meter. The majority of energy providers will allow you to put between £1 and £50 onto your meter per top-up. Furthermore, most meters will have a limit on how much credit can be stored. This will vary between different providers but is typically around £250 for electricity and £1,000 for gas.
To make the most of this handy trick, meter users may need to make multiple top-ups. The credit storage limit means that higher prices can’t be delayed forever! However, avoiding higher energy rates for even just a few weeks could help to minimise the financial squeeze.
What about people who don’t have a meter?
Those who don’t use an energy meter will understandably miss out on the stockpiling loophole. However, it is still possible to save money on your bills! While you may not be able to delay the higher rates, these simple tricks could help to cut down your costs:
Switch your energy provider to find a cheaper rate.
Turn off appliances completely when they aren’t being used.
Ensure that your home is properly insulated to reduce heating costs.
Check to see if you’re eligible for any government benefits, such as the Winter Fuel Payment scheme.
The post This loophole could help you beat the rising energy price cap! appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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