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Your electricity bill explained

How is my electricity bill calculated?

We think it’s a good thing to know exactly what you pay for in life, and your electricity bill is no exception. Like any other company, we have our own jargon which can sound confusing; kilowatt hours, peak and off peak rates and standing charges, so below you will see a table that explains how we have calculated your bill.

We read and bill the majority of our electricity meters each quarter. For our larger users we bill on a monthly basis. You will either receive an invoice or a statement if you pay by Direct Debit.

Your meter readings are used to calculate the amount of electricity used. Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours and 1 unit of electricity equals 1 kilowatt hours (kWh)

Below is an example of a typical bill for an average domestic customer and how it is calculated. 

 

Electricity 

 
Meter Readings  
12th December 2014 - Customer Reading                      26,114
23rd April 2015 - Actual Reading  27,273
Total kWh used    1,159
This costs  
1,159 kWh at 16.25p    £188.34
Standing Charge of 15p a day for 132 days    £ 19.80
Prompt Settlement Discount at 1.5% -£  3.12
VAT at 5%  £ 10.25

Total cost of electricity

 £215.27

Having difficulty paying your electricity bill?

I am struggling to pay my accounts, can you help?

We recognise that customers may experience difficulties from time to time in clearing their account(s), should this be the case for you, please contact our Customer Services Team on (01624) 687675, to discuss the most flexible repayment plan that suits your needs or see easy ways to pay.

You could consider:

  • Direct Debit
  • pre-payment meter
  • weekly deduction from your benefits. For those who are currently receiving benefits from Social Security, it is feasible for them to forward us a weekly amount towards your electricity bill, this will then be automatically deducted from the benefit you receive, helping you to manage your weekly budget

How is VAT calculated on electricity

The VAT rating depends on what the electricity supply is being used for. Domestic users will attract the reduced rate of 5%. Commercial users will attract the standard rate of 20% unless they use less than 33 units (kW) per day, in which case the reduced rate of 5% is applied.

Electricity consumed for charitable non –business use will attract the reduced rate of 5% VAT. If a charity makes a charge for its activities then the standard rate of 20% is applied.

What is a fuel cost adjustment (FCA)?

We use this mechanism to adjust the unit cost of electricity to take into account the costs of oil used for generation, which because of the market conditions are variable not fixed, without having to alter the basic published tariff. 

What is a standing charge?

The standing charge is to recover a contribution to our fixed costs where connection to our electricity supply is retained. Connection charges also provide for the correct specification and connection of the meter. This is important as the meter provides the means to accurately record the units consumed or exported in each billing period.

What is a unit of electricity?

A unit of electricity is one kilowatt (kW) of electricity burned for one hour. e.g. a heater rated at 1000 watts (1 kilowatt), operating for one hour uses one kilowatt-hour (equivalent to 3.6 megajoules) of energy. A 40-watt light bulb operating for 25 hours uses one kilowatt-hour. Electrical energy is sold in kilowatt-hours; cost of running equipment is the product of power in kilowatts multiplied by running time in hours and price per kilowatt-hour. For current costs please refer to Tariffs and rates 2015

Where can I find my customer number for electricity?

The customer number is the 1st 5 digits of the account number shown on your bill, as illustrated below:

Where can I locate the invoice number on my bill?

The invoice number is the last 8 digits of the account number and is prefixed with the letter as shown on your bill, as illustrated below:

Where can I find my premise number on my bill?

The premise number is the 2nd 6 digits of the account number shown on your bill, as illustrated below:

Where can I locate the meter number on my bill?

The meter number is located on the front of your electricity bill in the main content, as illustrated below:

What is prompt settlement discount?

We currently offer a 1% discount provided that you pay your bill in full within the timescale stated on the bill. We allow 12 working days (which includes Saturdays) from the issue date of the bill.

I forgot to pay my account on time, missing the prompt payment discount, what can I do?

Arrange to pay your account by Direct Debit, which not only saves you money but time as well.

I am going on holiday and my account is due whilst I am away.

We can produce an interim account for you to pay. All you need to do is, take a meter reading and contact our Customer Services Team on (01624) 687675.

How to Read A Meter

What do the letters mean after the meter readings on my bill?

The letters after the meter readings explain what type of reading was taken.

The code explanations can also be found on the reverse of your bill.

A Actual Reading
C Customer Reading
D Disconnected for Debt
E Manual Estimate
F Fuse Drawn
I Interim Account
M Remote Reading
N Reconnection not chargeable  
P Preliminary Test Reading
R Reconnection
T Termination
W Seen through window
Z Automatic estimate

 

Can I have copies of my bills?

Yes, however a charge may be incurred, depending on the number of copy bills required, please contact our Customer Services Team on (01624) 687675.

How are estimated accounts produced?

Estimated accounts are based on your consumption history (units per day) for the corresponding account period.

Usually the more actual readings we have the more accurate the estimate will be. 

What is a security deposit?

When a new customer applies for an electricity supply, we ask them to pay a security deposit, there are a number of reasons for this;

  • we don’t have a credit rating for you based on any previous account history
  • we bill for electricity used 3 months in arrears

The amount is refundable after a period of 2 years, with interest, provided a good payment record is maintained. This period is extended for commercial customers for a further year.

  • domestic customers - Payment of £120.00 is required and the completion of a Direct Debit mandate, for fixed payments of £50.00 per month
  • Comfy Heat customers - Payment of £200.00 is required and the completion of a Direct Debit mandate, for fixed payments of £100.00 per month
  • commercial customers - All payments amounts must be agreed by the Credit Control Team on (01624) 687687
  • new commercial installation - The payment amount will be agreed and set by the Credit Control Team and incorporated in the connection charge and terms of acceptance issued by the planning department, Network Services. The deposit will be refunded plus interest, providing all accounts have been paid on time after 3 years or when the business stops trading.  This may be extended to 5 years if the customer has not maintained a good payment record.

 

How much interest will I get paid with the security deposit refund?

Providing you have maintained a good payment record your refund will include interest based on the current Bank of England base rate plus 1%.

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