Martin Lewis, the MoneySavingExpert, has revealed his nine must-knows for dealing with the ongoing energy crisis.

Mr Lewis warned a fortnight ago that the energy market was in a “dire” situation, and things have only gotten worse.

Now he is offering his top tips to help mitigate the impact on you.

Energy price cap set to jump

The cap is set to rise by an average of 12 per cent, which could result in a £140 rise for someone with typical use.

Mr Lewis said: “If you've never switched, or have come off a fixed or special tariff, you're likely on your energy provider's default standard tariff.

“That price is dictated by regulator Ofgem's so-called price cap (except in Northern Ireland).

“In fact, it isn't a cap on price, it's more a cap on the rate you pay per unit, so if you use more, you'll pay more.”

Price cap could jump again in April

The price cap changes each October and April, but the assessment period for deciding the cap is earlier than that, meaning you can already estimate how much the cap will rise in April.

The MoneySavingExpert said: “At current rates, analysts at Cornwall Insight predict another 14 per cent jump then, taking it to £1,455 per year (on typical bills).

“In fact, for prices not to rise in April, wholesale rates for the final four months of the assessment period would need to drop to roughly the lows of the pandemic. Yet many analysts think they're staying high for now.”

You will pay more if you’re on a cheap deal now

Mr Lewis said: “Prepare to be horrified - today's cheapest fixes are 60 per cent more than a year ago.

“The idea of 'saving' compared to what you were paying has gone for now.”

The big choice to make

Whether you're on the price cap or rolling off a fix, the options are pretty stark.

The two main options are sticking on a price-capped or variable tariff, with the risk that if you’re still on it by April and prices have dropped you will be massively overpaying.

Or you can grab the cheapest fix possible which is likely to run for more than two years, likely showing that the market is only factoring in hish prices in the short term.

The MoneySavingExpert said: “Without a crystal ball, I can't with certainty tell you which will be best. So you have to decide based on your attitude to price versus certainty.”

Mr Lewis explains the options in detail here.

Switch from my cheap fix?

Martin Lewis said his best guess is that you shouldn’t switch if you still have a few months to run on your cheap fix.

He said: “Prices have risen so much that the savings you'll make by sticking with your old cheap tariff, while it lasts, will be huge (though do compare to check).

“So even if prices still rise, I suspect the gain of holding on to very cheap tariffs now will likely outweigh that. It is more art than science though.”

Should I avoid small providers?

In recent weeks People’s Energy and Utility Point have gone bust, and the Government has said it won’t bail them out.

Business experts warn that if nothing changes another 30 companies could go by the wayside.

Mr Lewis said: “Predicting which'll go and when is tough, because as soon as a firm knows it's insolvent it must declare it, so there's little pre-warning.

“If your supplier does go bust, the Ofgem safety net means you won't lose supply, you'll be moved to a new firm, and your credit is protected.

“The risk is one of delay, hassle and losing any cheap tariff you're on, instead being moved to the price cap.”

Beware of comparison sites

Most comparison sites will hide deals that don’t pay them, and most cheap deals don’t pay them right now.

Martin Lewis explained: “Right now, in these extraordinary times, many of the cheapest firms have pulled payments. That means most sites, by default, hide a wide range of cheap tariffs.”

He recommends using his Cheap Energy Club comparison, which does not filter out cheap deals.

Help is available if you are struggling

Martin Lewis said: “Emergency measures put in place due to coronavirus are still ongoing. Your supply won't be cut off - standard credit meter disconnections have been suspended, while prepayment customers can get emergency credit to ensure the lights stay on.

“There are also a range of options suppliers can offer, including payment plan reviews, payment breaks or reductions. This is all done case-by-case, so contact your supplier as soon as you can if you do start to struggle and let it know if you're vulnerable.”

Use less, pay less

The MoneySavingExpert said: “Most people (including me sometimes) do waste energy. We know wearing jumpers, lowering thermostats and not leaving electricals on standby will help. And maybe these price hikes may change behaviour.”