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Martin Lewis explains why your energy bill has gone up and how to dispute it UK News

People should check to see if they’re being overcharged by their energy supplier, Martin Lewis said, while giving three reasons why your bill might have risen dramatically.

A concerned landlord contacted the founder of MoneySavingExpert and said their monthly levies had risen from £86 to £251 – far more than the 54% increase in the Ofgem price cap, the Mirror reported.

On April 1, the energy price cap jumped by around £700, from £1,277 to £1,971 a year for people on a default tariff who pay by direct debit. However, the price cap is not an absolute cap on bills, it simply sets a limit on the rates a supplier can charge for each unit of gas and electricity you use.

Read more:Rising energy prices will mean 1 in 4 people cannot afford to pay their bills by October

Martin explained earlier this week on ITV This Morning that there are three reasons you could be seeing a big spike in direct debit payments.

“If he was on a cheap fix and his cheap fix ended and he’s now moved to the price cap, that would explain the much larger rise than the price cap rise of 54%,” did he declare.

“The second is…he was on the price cap and went to a fixed deal because those are more expensive than the price cap.”

Martin also explained how some vendors may have taken this opportunity to increase their estimate of how much you will use in the future.

“Maybe because they want to hedge against the October hikes,” he said.

But the MoneySavingExpert founder added: “If he’s in credit, that shouldn’t be happening.”

Energy bills have increased
Energy bills have increased

Customers in debt should expect higher direct debit payments, but not those with credit.

“If it doesn’t fit, tell them you don’t agree to the levy being put in place at this point and come up with a more appropriate number with the 54% hike,” Martin said.

If you are still convinced that you are overcharged, you can file a formal complaint with the energy ombudsman.

How to get help with your energy bills

British Gas has an Energy Trust fund available to everyone, not just British Gas customers, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Help is also available from the following energy providers, if you are an existing customer:

The exact eligibility requirements vary from one energy provider to another. In some cases, you will need to apply for certain benefits to apply.

Generally speaking, you will need to have spoken to a debt counselor first before applying, and you will need to show proof of your income and explain why you are behind on your bills.

You can also use the Turn2Us charity’s free grant finder to see what help is available where you live.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what grants or assistance you might be eligible for, turn to one of the energy charities.

They will also be able to help you if you think you have been treated unfairly and want to file a complaint.

Finally, there are energy programs for people on low incomes or claiming benefits – but unfortunately these have closed for this winter.

They will reopen later this year, so keep an eye out for when they start accepting applications again.

There is the Warm Home Discount scheme, which offers one-off payments of £140 for those on the pension credit guarantee element or on a low income.

Or you could be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment scheme, where those in receipt of the state pension can get between £100 and £300.

Low-income households can also get £25 a week to help pay their energy bills over the winter through the cold weather payment scheme.