Understanding Fuel Bills and Suppliers

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.


The price is derived from how much electricity or gas you use. This is then normally added to a standing charge, which is the charge for your supplier for providing the service.

By saving energy, you will therefore have a lower bill.


Energy suppliers  may estimate the amount of energy you have used which is checked periodically by a meter reader. It is therefore important to advise your energy supplier of your actual energy usage to avoid an estimated bill. You can do this by submitting regular meter readings over the phone or through the internet to your energy supplier.

If you receive a bill with an estimate, you may want to call your supplier as soon as possible to provide a correct reading. 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.

Smart Meters 

To stop the need for estimated fuel bills and assist you to understand your energy usage the Government is rolling out the installation of smart meters through energy suppliers.

For more information on smart meter technology visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/smart-meters-how-they-work 

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 who provide free independent advice. You can contact them on 03444 111444.

There are also grants available from some energy trusts. EDF customers can apply to the EDF Energy Trust ( external link)  for a grant. Charis grants administers grants for a number of other energy companies you can contact them on telephone 01733 421 021

You may be able to get help with your fuel bill through a cold weather payment, winter fuel payment or warm home discount scheme to find out more visit the Government website (external link). 

Switching Suppliers

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. Pre payment meters are usually the most expensive means of purchasing gas and electricity they may also leave you stranded without power when the credit runs out. You may wish to consider changing your payment method for further information on switching supplier and payment methods visit Ofgem information for consumers (external link).

Please note: Wealden District Council cannot recommend energy suppliers or comparison sites, details provided here are for information.