Energy efficiency is looking like it will be even more critical than usual this year, with bills going up steeply and the energy price cap (which had been set at £2500 for two years) now rising to £3,000 from April 2023.
It’s important to note that the price cap is not a fix on the amount you will pay, only a cap on what suppliers can charge you per unit, so bills can be higher or lower, depending on usage.
Many households are now looking for ways to save energy, from changing their appliances to altering their energy habits and practices around their homes.
But what about if your property is vacant and no appliances are being used? Do you still have to pay anything if you aren’t using gas or electricity?
Here is what you need to know.
Do you have to pay energy bills if you don’t use gas or electricity and the property is empty?
There can be many reasons a property might be temporarily unused, from the occupants moving in with someone else to the house or the flat going up for sale.
If you’re going away during winter but planning to return, it may still be advisable to use the heating at a low level to combat damp and frozen pipes.
However, even if you aren’t using the electricity or gas at the property, you will still have to pay standing charges, according to the money-saving expert Martin Lewis.
Martin has said: ‘You pay for having access to energy even if you don’t use it. The daily standing charges rose hugely in April, and rose a touch in October.
‘If you’ve both gas and electricity, the average direct debit standing charge is £273/yr before you use owt.
‘I and others have continually pushed back with Ofgem to try and get this changed, but with little success.
‘It’s worth noting there are variances in standing charges by region (for example, London is £225/yr, SW England £296/yr) – Ofgem says it is due to the different costs to transport power to where you live.’
As such it is worth checking what the standing charge is with your supplier, even if you aren’t planning to use any energy at your property.
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