Martin Lewis busts energy bill myth as Twitter users seek ‘cheaper’ costs | Personal Finance | Finance

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This comes as households on the price cap are experiencing an annual energy bill hike of £693 a year, which came into effect in April. Furthermore, the head of regulator Ofgem has confirmed that the energy price cap could reach as high as £2,800 in October. As a result, families are looking for the best options available to them in order to bring their costs down.

However, Martin Lewis is sounding the alarm that much of the information people read on social media may not be entirely accurate regarding this topic.

The personal finance journalist warned his 1.5 million followers to not believe everything they read on social media.

On Twitter, Mr Lewis said: “I’ve heard of a viral post telling people they can save money by using appliances overnight when it’s ‘cheaper’.

“This isn’t true for most. For that you need a time-of-use meter like Eco7 or Eco10 (you’ll know if you’ve got one).”

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The finance expert added: “For most though, the cost is the same regardless of time.”

Ian Dunbar responded to the message, which Mr Lewis retweeted, which read: “Martin, please emphasise that there is a fire safety message here too.

“Use of e.g., white goods at night increases the chance of any fault resulting in fire delaying detection and evacuation. People must have working smoke alarms!”

With many struggling to pay their energy bills, households have turned to experts such as Martin Lewis for insight.

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In comparison, Eco7, which is short for Economy 10, offers customers normal prices most of the time, but cheaper rates during other “off-peak” times.

However, these off-peak times are only set by the energy supplier, and can be spread across both the day and night.

Off-peak energy bills with Eco10 are up to half the normal rate during regular peak hours in the day.

It should be noted that suppliers in Scotland give their customers something called white meters during off-peak hours, instead of Eco10.

GoCompare energy expert, Gareth Kloet, has also discussed whether it’s cheaper to use energy overnight.

He said: “This one isn’t a total myth, because for some consumers, energy really is cheaper overnight.

“This is because suppliers sometimes charge you a cheaper rate in off-peak periods, which typically fall overnight – when the majority of people are sleeping and therefore using less energy.

“However, not everyone benefits from these lower rates. Firstly, you need a two rate meter or a smart meter, which is capable of recording when your energy use takes place.

“And crucially, only people who use a significant portion of their energy in off-peak times (for instance, putting the laundry and dishwasher on before bed) will see a cost benefit.”

While many have directed criticism at the Government during the energy bill crisis, some experts have taken aim at suppliers for a lack of action. Jo Gilbert, a leading consumer champion when it comes to energy costs, addressed what suppliers can be doing to help families.

Ms Gilbert explained: “As a minimum, energy suppliers should be supporting consumers with income and expenditure assessments to determine affordability and then offering them a social tariff, payment breaks, significantly extended payment period for debt over years not months.

“The scale of this issue is getting too big for it to be something energy suppliers alone can resolve. This really does need Government intervention and support.”





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