A HOMEOWNER has revealed how she slashed her energy bill to just 62p thanks to a Martin Lewis trick.

The vast majority of energy customers have to pay a standing charge just to have gas and electricity provided to their homes.

The charge covers the cost of having your property connected to the network, carrying out meter readings and maintenance.

The current daily rate for electricity is £0.53 while for gas it is £0.29 but you have to pay the charge even if you don't use any energy.

However, one provider, Utilita, offers customers a tariff without a standing charge.

It's currently available as a priority for new prepayment meter customers and some paying by direct debit can also switch to it.

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Under the tariff, customers are charged a higher rate for using up to 2kWh of energy each day.

They are then charged a lower rate for the remainder of the day.

In MoneySavingExpert.com's latest newsletter, one reader revealed how she switched to the tariff and saved her and other residents in her block of flats from forking out £38 each a year.

The reader, Aileen, said: "As the entry phone (for the block of flats) is on a separate meter and uses virtually no electricity, the recent hike in standing charges meant that our bill would have been £230/yr for using less than one unit.

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"Switching brings that down to 62p…every little helps."

Of course, Aileen's energy bill, as well as the others in her block of flats, will work out at more than 62p.

This is just the amount she pays to cover the cost of the entry phone.

She will still have to pay for her gas and electricity used inside her flat.

Are zero standing charge tariffs worth it?

A zero standing charge tariff, like the name suggests, doesn't include standing charges.

But, any savings made on these types of tariffs can be offset by higher charges elsewhere in the overall bill.

That said, if you live in a property which isn't always occupied, no standing charge tariffs can be worth it.

Gareth Kloet, energy expert at price comparison website Go Compare, said no standing charge tariffs are far less common than before, with just a few currently on the market, including Utilita's.

He added: "Typically, no standing charge tariffs offer a higher rate and then a lower rate once you pass certain thresholds of energy consumption, as a way (for suppliers) to recoup the standing charge cost.

"When considering if this type of deal would be beneficial to you, it is important to consider your energy needs and usage.

"Using a comparison site to compare different tariffs and standing charges will help you make an informed decision.

“Pay as You Go tariffs such as Utilita’s are worth considering if you use a small amount of energy or often find that you use no energy at all such as in a property that is unoccupied for long periods of time."

What other help can I get with my energy bills?

There's a few ways you can get help with your energy bills, including the Household Support Fund (HSF).

The fund is worth £842million and has been shared between councils in England.

They then decide how to allocate their share, which means what you're eligible for varies depending on where you live.

In most cases, help is issued to households on benefits or a low income.

Some councils are handing out their share via direct bank transfers while others are issuing supermarket and energy vouchers.

It's worth getting in touch with your local council to see what help might be available.

You can find what council area you fall under by using the Government's locator tool on its website.

Meanwhile, you might be able to apply for a grant to help cover the cost of your energy bills.


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A number of providers, including British Gas, E.ON and EDF run schemes.

You should get in touch with yours to see what's available.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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