Martin Lewis issues update on British Gas, EON and EDF hidden charge on bills | Personal Finance | Finance

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis is “pleased” that both the Labour Party and the Conservatives have agreed that the level of standing energy charges is “too high”.

In a post on X Mr Lewis said: ” I’m pleased now BOTH Labour & Conservatives have said the level of standing charges is too high. I’ve had v senior contact from both to say they’ve seen the campaigning I’ve been doing and will focus on it if elected.”

The finance guru highlighted the Labour manifesto which said that “Too much of the burden of the bill is on standing charges and we will work with the regulator to reduce them.”

The average standing charge cap is approximately 60p per day for electricity and 31p per day for gas for Brits on standard variable tariffs paying by Direct Debit.

The aim of the standing charge is to cover the costs of keeping one’s property connected to the energy network and is a fixed amount, listed on your bill as the “daily unit rate”.

The ‘hidden cost’ is based on your house’s location, which energy provider you’re on and the tariff you’re on. The costs are regulated by Ofgem and vary significantly between regions.

Martin Lewis posted: ” I’ve also pointed out to both, that this [change] needs to be a joint regulator/govt move – as the 1.2m high using vulnerable households (as Citizens Advice note) need protection if the burden’s shifted to the unit rate. And that is outside regulator’s power.”

When one fellow X user asked him what these potential Governments would “ACTUALLY DO” he responded “at this point, locking it in manifestos is enough. It means they’re committed.”

Mr Lewis responded to people questioning how much power a new Government would have to deal with these standing charges as they are regulated independently by Ofgem by recommending that parliament could “change the rules or change the regulator if it decided that was in the country’s best interest.”

He posted that the new Government could: “Change Ofgem’s remit. Legislate on how price cap should work (it was govt that set up the fact their was a price cap, and that Ofgem should implement), At the extreme, scrap Ofgem and set up new regulator.”

For Brits looking to avoid standing charges there are tariffs that offer freedom from the charges, but they often come with higher energy unit prices.

These are most helpful for customers that have properties that are not in use all year around as you only pay for energy actually consumed.

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