Energy bills are not always easy to understand. This page gives you a quick guide on reading your bill, and how you can watch your energy use. By watching how much energy you use you can save energy more effectively.
There is also advice on if you have trouble paying your bills, and about switching energy supplier.
- Kilowatt hours?
The kilowatt-hour (kW/h) is the measurement of energy used. It is a measure of power over a period of time. It is used to measure both gas and electricity. Your meter will show how many kilowatt-hours you have used.
The price is derived from how much electricity or gas you use, the number of kilowatt hours used multiplied by the price of the unit. This is added to a standing charge, which is the charge for your supplier for providing the service.
By saving energy, you will use less kilowatt-hours and therefore have a lower bill.
Electric suppliers do not always have a correct number for the kilowatt-hours that you have used. They rely on people coming out to do meter readings or from you telling them by giving them your own meter reading. Because of this, it is important to give your supplier regular meter readings.
If you receive a bill with an estimate, you may want to call your supplier and give them a meter reading over the phone. They will then issue you with an updated bill.
Remember though – if you have used more energy than the estimate your bill will go up, if less your bill will go down.
It is still important to do this though, as sooner or later a reading will be taken and the longer it is left, the more the estimate can vary by, which may leave you with a bigger bill than you were planning for.
- Trouble with paying bills
If you are having trouble with paying your energy bills, you should in the first instance contact your energy supplier. They may be able to help spread the cost of a bill so you don’t have to pay it all in one go.
If you are still struggling, or have debts that have been going on for some time then try the Citizens Advice Bureaux who provide free independent advice. You can contact them on 01825 764940.
There are also grants available from some energy trusts. EDF customers can apply to the EDF Energy Trust online www.edfenerytrust.org.uk or tel 01733 331177. Charis grants administers grants for a number of other energy companies telephone 01733 421 021
Switching suppliers can be a good way of saving money. If you have never switched supplier it is likely that you are paying more than you need to for your energy. Some suppliers offer cheaper rates for dual fuel tariffs for gas and electricity. You can still switch supplier if you prepay for your energy. Try a comparison site like uswitch on 0845 601 2856 or www.uswitch.com
Please note: Wealden District Council cannot reccommend energy suppliers or comparison sites, details provided here are for information.