Wednesday 06 October 2010
By Dominic Welling
Energy bills can be difficult to interpret and understand, but it’s vital you can use them to discover how much energy you use and exactly how much you’re paying for it.
This is a typical energy bill –it’s a sample from British Gas, but it is similar to ones from other companies. All bills vary slightly in how they are laid out, but all should contain the following information.
1. Name and Address- On the front of the bill will be your address. Make sure this information is completely accurate and update your supplier if you need to.
2. Energy Supplier - here you will find the name of your energy provider and its contact details.
3. Customer Reference Number - This is how the energy company will identify you and access all your details. Make sure you quote this number whenever you contact the provider. However, do not confuse this with your Meter Number (see below).
4. Amount Owed and Deadline Date - Your energy supplier should clearly tell you how much you owe them and when they expect to be paid.
5. Billing Period - Here you will be told the date the bill was sent out and the period that it covers.
6. Name of Tariff - This is important as you need to know the name and what sort of tariff you are on if you are looking to compare energy deals and see what else is out there.
7. Previous Bill and Summary - Here you are given snapshot details about your previous bill and what you paid, as well as a summary of how much you owe this time (including any discounts deducted and VAT added.)
8. Payment Options - At the bottom of page one you are given a list of how you can pay your energy bill. This includes credit or debit card, SMS, Internet or phone banking, At the Post Office, in cash at a PayPoint, at any bank or by post.
1. Meter Number, Readings, and Calculations - In this box you will find the most important information.
2. Consumption Comparisons -
3. Further Contact Details - On your bill you should be given a list of useful numbers to call for example, in case of an emergency or in case you need to make a complaint.
4. Giro Slip - Use this to pay your bill at the Post Office or bank.