The latest annual report by Ofgem on suppliers’ social obligations showed a total of 1.5 million customers were in debt on their electricity payments, and 1.4 million on gas payments – around one in every 17 customers, and a rise on 2012. Energy bills in Britain have risen twice as fast as inflation, four times faster than wages, and faster than almost any other country in the developed world. The era of cheap energy is over with UK households spending £26.50 weekly on electricity, gas and other fuels.
People do not understand the tariff they are on let alone know what they are paying.
The market providers keep changing and it’s difficult to find the best energy deal.
People switch to standard tariffs once their deal finishes and end up paying more.
Use our document management system to store key energy policy deals online, fore easy access and questioning of bills.
By referring to your Tariff Comparison Rate you can compare supplier prices.
Set a policy reminder that will allow people time to compare tariffs against your household budget.
- (E) Estimated Reading — where your supplier has been unable to obtain an actual meter reading and therefore makes an estimation. Note: The estimate could be under or over your actual usage
- A (Actual reading) — where you have provided an actual meter reading, as opposed to the supplier estimating your reading. Sometimes shown as ‘C’ (customer reading)
- Best Buy — considered to be the best tariff on the market, based on industry-standard assumptions of average consumption over a year
- Cancellation Fees — what you will be obliged to pay if you choose to leave the tariff before the specified date
- Capped Tariff — tariff which has an upper limit that will not be exceeded until the specified term date. Prices can go down, but can’t go up
- Consumption — the amount of energy you use, which is represented by the number of kilowatt hours (kWh)
- Cooling-off Period — with many agreements, you are entitled to a cooling-off period whereby you are given a number of days (usually 14) during which you are entitled to change your mind without any repercussions
- Dual Fuel — where customers receive both their gas and electricity from them the same supplier
- Economy 10 Meter — charges discounted prices for 10 set off-peak hours - typically 3 hours in the afternoon, 2 in the evening and 5 hours overnight
- Economy 7 Meter — measure the amount of electricity used at night separately from the amount used in the daytime. Note: ‘night rate’ is cheaper than the ‘day rate’
- Energy — term used to cover what is used to power and heat your home, typically gas and electricity
- Energy Efficiency — how much of your energy is used productively and not wasted
- Energy Supplier — the company which provides your property with gas and/or electricity
- Fixed Monthly Direct Debit — where you pay the energy company a fixed monthly amount that is automatically taken from your bank account. Note: After a year, your annual consumption will be reviewed and your Direct Debit amount adjusted accordingly
- Fixed Rate Tariff — the amount you pay per unit of usage (unit rates) will be fixed for a set period of time
- Fuel Mix — mix of fuels that are included in the energy you receive (coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewable and ‘other’)
- Green Tariff — where some of the money you pay contributes to purchase or generate energy from renewable sources, or monies being dedicated to environmental funds
- kWh (kilowatt hour) — unit of measurement for gas and electricity consumption. Note: providing the number of kWh you use annually, is the most accurate way to obtain a quote before switching suppliers
- MDD (Monthly Direct Debit) — where you pay a fixed monthly amount for your energy. Suppliers offer discounts to customers who pay this way
- Meter Reading — when your actual energy consumption is read from your gas and electricity meter. Note: to be billed correctly a reading needs to be regularly undertaken
- MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) — unique identifying number for the electricity supply at your property. Commonly referred to as a ‘Supply Number’ or ‘S’ number
- MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) — unique identifying number for the gas supply at your property. Commonly referred to as an ‘M’ number
- NSC (No standing charge) — a tariff which means you are paying for what you use only. Beneficial if your property is left empty for long periods of time
- Off-mains Discount — when you do not use gas at your property, for example, new-builds, and therefore not entitled to a ‘Dual Fuel discount’. Some suppliers offer customers a discount to compensate
- Ofgem (Office of Gas & Electricity Markets) — the regulatory body for the energy industry
- Online Tariff — a tariff that is managed online, for example able to provide meter readings, view bills, and deal with customer services via the internet. Note: offers greater discounts and are now the most competitive on the market
- Pay on Receipt of Bill — when you pay for your gas and electricity by cash or cheque on receipt of your bill
- Prepayment Meter — a type of meter which allows you to ‘top up’ energy as you need. Note: most expensive way to pay for you energy
- Prompt Pay Discounts — discount for paying their bill within a set period of time
- QDD (Quarterly Direct Debit) — where you pay a via direct debit on a quarterly basis
- Quarterly Bills — when suppliers send you a statement every 3 months, regardless the method of payment
- Single Fuel — used to refer to gas or electricity on its own, as opposed to ‘dual fuel’
- Single Rate Meter — meter that records the total number of kWh you use each day, without taking into account what you are using at night
- Smart Meter — digital devices that take automatic readings of your energy usage and send the readings electronically to your energy company. This allows for 100% accurate bills
- Social Tariff — a tariff that should be equal to a provider’s cheapest available tariff regardless of payment methods. Aimed at consumers considered to be in fuel poverty (spending more than 10% of their income on their energy bills)
- Standard Tariff — a tariff offered which fundamentally means there are no ‘frills’ such as discounts or fixed/capped price periods. Note: usually a providers’ most expensive tariff, try to avoid
- Standing Charge — a fixed daily charge for the energy that is being supplied to your property regardless of your consumption
- Supplier — the company who provides your gas and/or electricity
- Supply number (S) — your ‘S’ number is your MPAN (see above)
- Tariff — the ‘plan’ or rates you are being charged per unit of energy consumed in your home
- TCR (Tariff Comparison Rate) — a single unit price rate (one for each tariff on the market) that you can use as a guide to compare tariffs between suppliers
- Tiers — when charged different rates at different levels of consumption
- Tracker Tariffs — tariffs that will ‘track’ below a specified rate, usually the suppliers’ standard prices. Note: usually for a set amount of time and attract exit fees
- Unit Rate — the price you are charged for each unit of energy (kWh) you use
- Variable Direct Debit — where you pay the energy company what you use rather than a set amount each month. Note: it’s likely to be substantially higher during the winter months