Martin Lewis issues 'emergency' energy warning to thousands of households
'We've never seen anything like what's happening right now.'
Money saving expert Martin Lewis has issued an "emergency" warning to households across the UK amid an energy price surge that is expected to impact millions.
Lewis warned that those on cheap, fixed energy deals could be in for a nasty shock, with even the cheapest tariffs set to cost 40 per cent more than they did last year.
The price surge is the result of a 250 per cent jump in gas wholesale prices, causing the collapse of four energy companies including Hub Energy and MoneyPlus Energy - with Bulb becoming the latest organisation currently seeking a bail-out.
The leap in wholesales costs is down to a spike in gas usage, low wind speeds in Europe (leading to less energy supplied by wind farms), and a number of power station closures. A recent fire at a National Grid site in Kent has also impact costs by cutting off power supplies from France.
Lewis said: "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 by four times compared to nearly 20 months ago and that's going to feed into domestic prices."
And he was blunt about the unavoidability of the situation for customers, saying: "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?"
The money saving expert said that customers reaching the end of their tariff had two options to keep their bills as low as possible.
The first was to simply stay put and not do anything. The logic behind this being that customers would be able to stick with the energy price cap for the next six months and hope that prices fall next year when they will be able to look for a new deal.
The second option was the exact opposite: act now. Customers should lock in the cheapest one or two-year fixed deal now. But Lewis warned this will require a fair bit of research and checking all comparison sites. "You'll have to look at the whole market," he said.
You can watch the full seven-minute clip of his advice below.
ENERGY BILLS CRISIS EMERGENCY HELP VIDEO: Many in panic about the huge rise in #energybills. I've recorded this quick video to take you through what you need to know and what to do.
(subtitled version to come later) pic.twitter.com/oXPKslhloq
— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) September 20, 2021
On Monday, Bulb announced that it was in crisis talks over whether it will be able to survive the rise in wholesale prices.
If it were to go under, it would become the fifth energy company to cease trading because of the price rise.
It's not all bad though. Customers with an energy supplier that goes bust will not be left without gas or electricity. The industry regulator Ofgem will move your account to a new supplier, alongside any credit or debt owed as well.
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