Energy: When should I submit a meter reading? Martin Lewis asks Brits to take action amid bills hike

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PEOPLE have been asked across the UK to submit meter readings.

Energy expert and financial journalist Martin Lewis is encouraging everyone to submit a meter reading, amid soaring energy bills.

The government have announced several policies to try and curb the issue, including capping typical household bills at £2,500.

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Martin Lewis has advised people to submit a meter reading to save money on their bills. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images.Martin Lewis has advised people to submit a meter reading to save money on their bills. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images.
Martin Lewis has advised people to submit a meter reading to save money on their bills. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images.

Despite these policies, many families could be sent under the poverty line as costs are continuing to climb.

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Here is why you should submit a meter reading, and when you should:

Why should I submit meter readings?

Energy prices are due to increase substantially for households in England, Scotland and Wales.

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People who do not have a smart meter are advised to submit readings, showing their gas and electricity usage.

This is in a bid to save money on household bills ahead of the cost hike.

Taking a reading and informing your energy supplier of the results shows them how much gas and electricity you are using.

Martin Lewis and other money saving figures have urged people to follow this advice.

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This is to avoid being charged energy rates which are different to your usage.

Although energy costs will increase regardless, these figures will be more accurate than any estimated statistics.

Why are bills going up?

The global price of gas has increased dramatically increased, with the conflict between Russian and Ukraine often being used as the reason why.

Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas, and is the second biggest exporter of crude oil.

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Even though the UK does not rely as much on Russia for gas, other countries do, so wholesale costs are rising sharply.

Utility regulators cannot control the wholesale price of gas.

Energy providers are passing these costs on to the consumer.

Increased demand post-pandemic has also increased energy usage.

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When should I submit a meter reading?

Martin Lewis has advised people to submit an energy meter reading on October 1, to avoid paying higher prices.

In his latest newsletter on, he said: ‘Meter reading day's coming - don't panic, not everyone must do it, and it needn't be on the day.

‘With prices rising for most on October 1, unless you've a working smart or prepayment meter, it's useful to feed in an updated meter reading around that date to avoid discrepancies over what you used before or after prices rose.’

In his guide, Mr Lewis added: ‘Some ask: 'Can I inflate my meter reading now, so I'm charged future use at today's rate?' That'd be fraud. We get asked this one a lot – can you submit an inflated meter reading ahead of a price increase, so more of your usage is charged at the lower rate?

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‘The short answer is no, you shouldn't do this – it's fraud.’

How can I take a meter reading and send the it to my energy company?

A digital electricity meter has five numbers in black and white, and a single number in red.

You need to write down the first five figures, and ignore the sixth in red.

If you have a two rate digital meter, write down all the numbers in black and white, from right to left, and ignore the red figures.

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All the information can be sent to an energy company their a website, app, or over the phone.

A full break down on how to take a gas reading, and how to send figures, can be found on Citizens Advice here.

What if I can’t submit a meter reading?

Many energy company websites are crashing as result of people rushing to use them.

People are also experiencing difficulties receiving customer service help via phone and apps.

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Some energy companies, including Bulb, have a courtesy window, allowing you to submit readings after a deadline.

If this is not the case, you can take a clearly visible photo of your meter reading and meter serial number and submit it later, according to the BBC.

Some companies, such as Shell, have implemented an emergency bypass measure, so customers can still log a ticket if they are having issues accessing their website.