Martin Lewis has been providing monthly updates on financial assistance available and whether customers should transfer suppliers or tariffs, or “do nothing” until the energy market is more stable, to millions of individuals throughout the continuing energy crisis.
He presented the final edition of the current series of Money Show Live last week, which focused on the cost-of-living problem and alternative methods to save money and get help before the tax year closes on April 5.
And now, at this year’s Ideal Home Show, the award-winning consumer champion has given even more energy-saving strategies to assist homeowners prepare for the April bill price jump.
Here is a summary of the advice he shared:
Council Tax Rebate
As announced back in February, Households in Council Tax Bands A to D will receive a £150 rebate in April to help with their energy payments. The payment is intended to ease the financial strain caused by factors such as the energy price cap rise, which comes into effect from April.
Martin Lewis’s advice was for households that are not included in these bands to try contacting your local council and explaining your circumstances to see what additional assistance would be available.
The best time to take your meter reading
Martin has encouraged energy consumers to take a meter reading on exactly 31st March. Speaking on his ITV Martin Lewis Money Show Live broadcast last week he said:
“If you pay by monthly direct debit, I’d urge you to do a meter reading on 31st March, the day before the 54% rise in the April price cap” Martin says.
“You need to draw a line in the sand with your energy provider, so that you’re saying ‘everything I’ve used up to this point should be charged the cheap rate’, rather than just letting it estimate what you’ve used in March and what you’ve used at the higher rate.”
However, if you use Direct Debit to pay your energy bill, Lewis advised you to do a meter reading today instead.
To find out how to take a meter reading, visit.
Reducing your Water Usage
The money saving expert said: “Bizarrely, one way to save on your energy bills is to use less water, because much of the water we use in our home has been heated, so we pay for it to be heated.”
“There’s a website called savemoneysavewater.co.uk which collates all the freebies available from the water companies around the country, such as £30 aerated shower heads, which you can get for free, what that does is you can feel the same shower pressure but you’re actually using far less water to do it.”
You can also visit here, to find out your water supplier as knowing your region and your supplier will help you save!
It’s important too to note with this, showering accounts for a quarter of household water use and 25% of the average energy bill goes on heating water.
Lewis shares this advice as the price cap, set by regulator Ofgem, is increasing in April 2022. Households are expected to pay upwards of £600 annually on their energy bills. To calculate your current energy bill visit here.
UK to phase out Russian Oil Imports By End of 2022
In reaction to Vladimir Putin’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine, the UK government has announced plans to phase out oil imports from Russia by the end of 2022. The phase-out will take some time since it will allow the market, firms, and supply chains “more than enough time” to replace Russian imports, which account for 8% of UK demand.
The move is designed to increase the pressure on Russia’s economy by getting rid of one of its most valuable sources of income.
In a series of tweets Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, announced on Tuesday the UK would phase out the import of “Russian oil and oil products” by the end of 2022.
“This transition will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand,” he said.
“The UK is a significant producer of oil and oil products, plus we hold significant reserves.
“Beyond Russia, the vast majority of our imports come from reliable partners such as the US, Netherlands and the Gulf. We’ll work with them this year to secure further supplies.”
He also hinted at the possibility of phasing out all Russian Gas too, although the UK isn’t majorly reliant on it: “Finally, while the UK is not dependent on Russian natural gas – 4% of our supply – I am exploring options to end this altogether.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing a new UK energy strategy, which could involve more North Sea oil and gas production.
Prime Minister Johnson added: “In another economic blow to the Putin regime following their illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year, building on our severe package of international economic sanctions.”
The phasing out of imports will not be quick, as the UK is still dealing with an energy crisis that began months before the war in Ukraine, with time provided for supply chains to change and industry and consumer support.
As a result of the Ukraine strikes, the market has already shunned Russian oil. Nearly 70% of Russian oil is presently looking for a customer, and in a competitive global market, alternative supplies will swiftly meet demand.
Concerns have also been expressed about the impact of the change on the cost of living, given that UK consumers are already dealing with high inflation. According to the BBC, the RAC Foundation has warned that fuel prices in the UK might climb to £1.60 a litre this week and £1.65 shortly after.
This comes as Energy Bills are at an all-time high for households across the UK, with the energy price cap being raised at an average of almost £600 annually. To calculate your current energy bill visit here.
UK Sanctions Gazprom & Its Owner
On March 2nd, the UK Government issued a statement addressing sanctions to be placed on the Russian gas giant Gazprom.
Following Russia’s continued attacks on Ukraine, the company was dropped as a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, with Shell also breaking connections, with CEO Ben Van Beurden claiming, “We cannot – and will not – stand by” in relation to the situation in Ukraine.
During the last week, there has been a lot of talk about Europe’s dependency on Russian gas, with Russia supplying a third of the EU’s gas.
According to the government, there are no direct gas pipelines between the UK and Russia, and Russian imports accounted for less than 4% of overall gas supplies last year.
Gazprom Energy stated it is a “UK company that supplies 20.8% of non-domestic gas volume in Great Britain.
“We source our gas through commodity exchanges in exactly the same way as our competitors and we do not depend on gas supplies from Russia.
“We have been supplying gas in the UK since 2006 and we are confident that we will honor our contractual obligations to customers and partners with the same level of commitment as always.”
Now, In the past few days it has been revealed that the UK has imposed sanctions on the chief executives of Russian energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced a series of sanctions on seven of Russia’s wealthiest and most powerful oligarchs, including asset freezes and travel bans.
According to the UK government, Alexei Miller, the CEO of the Russian energy corporation Gazprom, is one of the most significant executives backing Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Miller worked as Putin’s deputy mayor in St Petersburg in the 1990s and has been sanctioned by the United States.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said their close ties to Putin means “they are complicit in his aggression”. Boris Johnson said the move was a demonstration of the UK’s “unwavering support for the Ukrainian people”. The prime minister added: “We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.