Watch Martin Lewis's energy bills crisis emergency help video as prices soar
Martin Lewis has warned that anyone coming off a cheap, fixed energy deal faces a huge bill shock, with the cheapest tariffs now costing 40% more than they did last year. In a new video, the MoneySavingExpert.com founder explains why energy prices are at an all-time high and what you can do about it.
You can turn on subtitles by selecting the keyboard image at the bottom right of the video.
Martin's latest video comes as energy prices continue to soar. He explained: "Energy bills have risen to an unprecedented level. We've never seen anything like what's happening right now... wholesale prices – those energy firms pay – have gone up... and that's going to feed into domestic prices. So this isn't a video, I'm afraid, about cutting your bills and making them lower. This is about damage limitation – how do you stop a huge increase?"
Martin's two key actions households can take to help protect themselves against rising energy bills are as follows:
- You could stay, or move onto your company's standard variable tariff (SVT), which is protected by energy regulator Ofgem's price cap. Martin says this is something he never thought he'd say, but there are very few tariffs cheaper than the cap, which comes into force from 1 October. In effect, you have a fix for six months as the cap won't rise in that period. So you could move on to the SVT and cross your fingers that things get cheaper before the cap changes next April, and do a switch then. For once, that is a legitimate choice.
- Alternatively, you could lock into the cheapest one-year or two-year fixed deal now – but you'll need to go quick. These are currently at levels slightly lower than the forthcoming price cap, but they won't last long. When you are comparing prices, also make sure to check the whole of the market – our Cheap Energy Club tool does this by default. You can also read our Cheap Gas and Electricity guide for help switching.
Martin's other top tips for those struggling are as follows:
- Check if you are entitled to £140 towards energy bills under the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme.
- Talk directly to your energy supplier; it may be able to help or offer grants or other support. See our Housing and Energy Grants guide for more info.
- Watch out for this week's MoneySavingExpert.com email and the new series of ITV's The Martin Lewis Money Show, which airs on Thursday 23 September. Martin will give step-by-step help on energy bills in both the weekly email and his new show.
Martin had already warned households weeks ago that bills were about to jump by £100s. He has also cautioned that more suppliers may go under. In the past few weeks alone, we've seen People's Energy, Utility Point, PfP and MoneyPlus Energy all cease trading.