Wholesale energy prices have risen sharply in recent months.

Here we take you through the main causes of high energy bills and what you can do to avoid them in the future and how we can help you now to prevent your bill getting further out of hand.

Is my energy bill accurate?

If your bill’s based on estimated reading it might not accurately reflect your energy use. So first of all, check to see if your bill has been estimated.

Are you lax at providing your energy supplier with meter readings? If this is the case then your energy provider will be issuing you with estimated bills. It works out the energy usage it expects based on the size of your home and previous usage. However, this may well be more than than the actual figures.

Consider getting a smart meter. They automatically send meter readings straight to your provider with an accurate figure for your usage. These are free and you can request one from your energy provider.

Alternatively, diarise regular meter readings. Once a month is plenty – and ensure you send these to your supplier through its website or app. Contact your supplier and check how far in advance you need to provide a reading before your bill is prepared.

If the answer’s yes, check your meter. If you can see a lower number than the figure on your bill, get in touch with your supplier. With a more accurate reading, they may well re-issue (and possibly reduce) your bill.

Lower your bills for the long term