Martin Lewis shares essential energy need-to-knows on fuel bill discounts, switching and £200 loan

It is fair to say that Martin Lewis has been working flat-out since Ofgem announced last week that a 54 per cent hike in energy bills is coming for around 22 million households across the UK since April.

Out with TV and radio appearances, answering countless questions from concerned energy customers, he has also been updating his social media channels with the latest information and explainers to help people cope with the cost of living crisis.

And today is no exception. At 6.30pm tonight, he will be doing a live TikTok energy Q&A to answer as many queries as possible, but advises everyone to look at his essential list of 10 need-to-knows about the price cap hike first in the latest edition of the newsletter.

Martin wrote: “After an awful six months, with millions seeing their energy firms go bust, now the nation faces a once-unthinkable, but still catastrophic and disastrous, 54% rise in bills in April.”

Last week, the consumer champion interviewed Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the Money Show Live and challenged him over the support measures announced by the UK Government to help people cope with soaring energy bills.

There’s been no update on these and Martin said: “We only know the skeletons of the Chancellor’s new schemes – the detailed consultation documents aren’t out yet.”

Martin Lewis energy need-to-knows

You can read the full details for each of the financial guru’s need-to-knows on the website here.

Energy price cap will rise by 54%

Energy bills will rise by £693 to £1,971 per year for average users on a standard tariff and £2,017 per year for those using a prepayment or pay-as-you-go meter.

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Martin warns: “There’s NO MAX you can pay on energy. Use more, pay more.”

Energy prices could go up again in October

Ofgem reviews the energy price cap every six months and the next price cap, in October, is based on wholesale energy costs over February to July.

Martin explains: “If wholesale rates stay roughly where they are right now, we would see a rise again in October of 20% on top of April, taking the rate for someone with average use to £2,365/yr.”

However, I have added that Ofgem is consulting on changing the cap more frequently so the October rate “may not last the full six months.”

He added: “The markets do seem to suggest the price cap will drop in April 2023, and indeed the Chancellor told me that he’d been looking at that data when deciding policy.”

To switch or not to switch?

Martin said: “There are no tariffs meaningfully cheaper than the price cap and the cheapest open-market fixes are all more expensive than the 1 April price cap.”

A resounding ‘not yet’ from the money expert, you can watch his full guide on it here.

The £200 energy bill credit loan

Martin already released a short video explaining how this is an automatic payment which will be added to all electricity bills from October and will be repaid over five years from April 2023 at an annual rate of £40.

Read more about this here and watch Martin’s explainer here.

Council Tax deduction for households in England

The Scottish Government will receive funds from the Treasury to offer something similar.

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For homes in England in Council Tax bands A to D, they will get a £150 rebate in April towards energy increases.

Discretionary help for English households

English households which do not qualify for the Council Tax rebate may be able to get help from a £144 million discretionary fund distributed via local authorities.

Warm Home Discount increases to £150

The Warm Home Discount has been given a £10 boost. It is paid to those on low incomes, including older people on State Pension in receipt of the Guaranteed element of Pension Credit.

The UK Government plans to extend the eligibility criteria so that an additional 780,000 households will qualify – but details of who this will include have not yet been released.

Martin added: “For this winter’s scheme, only E.on, E.on Next, Bulb and So Energy still have applications open, so go quick if you may be eligible.”

Get help if you’re struggling to pay energy bills

Martin said: “Even with the UK Government announcements, as I told the Chancellor directly, I still believe some will be left with the choice of freeze or starve. Citizens Advice reports record numbers asking for energy help, and that’s before April’s huge hikes.” has a new ‘what to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills’ guide to cover everything you can do, and crucially where to get help – read more here.

The only other way to cut energy bills is to use less of it, which is easier to say than do.

Quick wins include turning your thermostat down one degree, switching off devices at the plug instead of leaving on standby – Alexa users take note – and only boiling the water you need.

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The Martin Lewis Money Show Live airs on Thursday night at 8.30pm on ITV/STV.

To keep up to date with the energy crisis join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, follow Record Money on Twitter hereor subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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