Home energy bills are confusing at the best of times. Rule changes, new formats, and price per unit information can be difficult to decipher. At Power Compare, we translate confusing jargon into bite-sized chunks of digestible information. In this article, we explain industry jargon and reveal what information you need to switch energy supplier.
Here’s everything you need to know about your gas and electricity energy bills:
Energy Bills Explained
In recent years, Ofgem has passed rules and regulations that support your consumer rights and protections. Despite the fact that each energy supplier has standardised their gas and electricity bills, most people still find them confusing.
Our jargon-busting team have set out to explain all the most important keywords on your energy bill.
Important Home Energy Terms
- Tariff name – Your bill will tell you which tariff you are on. You can learn more about the different types of tariffs below.
- Unit charge – The unit charge is the amount of money you pay per unit. Your gas and electricity is billed separately. Energy units are measured in kilowatts.
- Standing charge – The standing charge is a flat rate. Your energy supplier charges you per day for having access to gas and electricity. Your actual usage will be added to this fee.
- Estimated usage over the last 12 months – You will be able to find an estimate of your home energy usage on your bill. If you have not been with your energy supplier for 12 months, they will estimate your usage based on a shorter time frame.
- Total kWh used/This cost – This number is the amount of electricity you use every year.
- Total units (100s of cubic feet)/This cost – This number is the amount of gas you use every year.
Your Home Energy Tariff
Your energy bills will tell you which tariff you are on. Tariffs are types of payment plans that energy companies offer to consumers. There are 3 main types of tariffs.
- Variable-rate tariffs – This type of tariff is sometimes called a standard tariff. Every energy supplier offers consumers a standard tariff. They are usually the most expensive option because energy suppliers can change the price per unit of gas and electricity. If you do not ask for a dual fuel or fixed-rate tariff, you will be put on a variable-rate tariff automatically.
- Fixed-rate tariffs – As the name suggests, fixed-rate tariffs give consumers the opportunity to lock in a specific price per unit for your gas and electricity. Your gas and electricity bills will still increase if you use more energy, but you will always pay the same price per unit.
- Dual fuel tariffs – You have a dual fuel tariff if you purchase gas and electricity from the same energy supplier. Most home energy suppliers will offer home and business owners a discount for being loyal to them. You will also be able to switch your gas and electricity together making it much easier to manage your energy bills.
You can save lots of money by comparing your existing tariff to others on the market. If you switch to a new energy supplier, you could receive sign-on bonuses alongside a reduced rate.
You should consider how you use energy in your home before switching. For example, some tariffs offer cheaper rates at off-peak times and it may help you save extra on your energy bills. Some energy suppliers offer direct debit discounts when you switch energy.
Information You Need to Switch Energy Supplier
We always encourage home and business owners to switch to a new energy supplier. Home energy users face increasing charges in 2021 with the new energy price cap. With increasing energy prices, it’s important to understand your energy bills and how you could save on energy with a cheaper deal.
Switching providers is the easiest and quickest way to save money on your home energy bills. With so much complicated jargon to sift through, it can be difficult to find the information you need to switch energy supplier. Here is a breakdown of the information you need to tell your new provider.
Whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, you will need to give your new energy supplier some personal information. Most people will be able to think of this information off the top of their heads, but it is useful to have the facts to hand.
You need to tell your new provider your home or business address, the number of people who use the property, the type of property, and the number of bedrooms. This information should be as accurate as possible so that you are getting the right energy deals for your home. Incorrect usage information could land you with larger energy bills through back billing in the future.
If you want to pay your home energy bills by direct debit you will have to give them your bank details.
You can find information about how much gas and electricity you use on your bill. This information can be found next to different headings, depending on your provider. It is presented as ‘actual usage’ on some gas and electricity bills. Other energy suppliers will list the numbers next to ‘total kWh used’, ‘total units’, or ‘this cost’.
Your consumption is calculated in kWhs.
When you switch home energy suppliers you might need your meter number. Your meter number is between 9 and 12 digits long. It is a string of numbers that is unique to your meter and electricity. You can find your number on the back of your bill.
Not all providers ask for meter numbers, but it is a good idea to have them on hand to streamline the process. Some providers ask for your number to ensure that they are switching your home energy instead of your neighbours.
Compare Energy Suppliers & Save On Your Energy Bills
At Power Compare, we arm homeowners and business owners with all the information they need reduce their energy bills. We have exclusive deals with a range of gas and electricity suppliers with energy prices that are not available direct.
Switching energy suppliers is as easy with our smart comparison site. With the new energy price cap looming, now is the time to switch energy. Simply put your details into our site and see how much you could be saving on your gas and electricity every month.