Understanding Your Energy Bill
It is not unseal for people to be confused after taking a good look at their energy bills since the data presented in them contain a lot of complicated terms that can puzzle anybody. However, you should not let anyone deceive you due to this inability. Reading a bill may be difficult to some extent, but not entirely impossible. Here is a sample energy bill along with some pointers and guidelines to help you understand your gas or electricity bill with ease.
Reading the Metre:
To check the readings of your energy bill you need to first determine whether the bill is set on the basis of the readings taken by you or those by the supplier. The letter C implies it is based on customer’s reading, whereas the letter A indicates the bill is calculated based on supplier’s reading. There is an additional E option which means the supplier prepares your energy bill based on estimates of your metre’s reading. The best way for customers to be well informed about their billings is to read their own metre readings at least once in every three months.
Once you have located the essential details from your bill, it becomes very important for you to understand the various calculations that are designed to calculate your energy tariff. This information not only helps you in choosing the right tariff plan, but also assures you that you are being charged the right amount for your gas and electricity.
- Simple or Fixed Rate: As its name suggests this kind of rate structure is the most uncomplicated method to calculate your energy charges. In this plan, a fixed amount is charged for the use of every kilowatt per hour. The bill may also include additional charges such as sales tax etc.
- Tiered Rate: Also known as the step rate, this method is the most general form of residential rate programs employed by energy suppliers. This rate plan promotes energy conservation, as it charges higher rates for increased usage, thus compelling customers to keep a check on their electricity or gas use. Nevertheless, some electricity providers do not charge a higher price for increase in use, but on the contrary, lower the rate once the upper limit is reached, which is by all means beneficial to the customers. The bill may also include additional charges for delivery, billing fee or debt retirement.
- Demand Rate: The demand rate is a common rate plan for business institutions and enterprises, though sometimes the service may also be extended to house owners. In this method, the organisations are provided an electricity bill which has two components. One part of the bill includes a demand rate and the other a demand charge. The demand rate is a considerably lower kWh expense based on the consumer’s energy consumption, whereas the demand charge is the cost imposed on the highest amount of power used on a standard 15 minute phase during the time of billing.
Direct Debit Payments:
You can opt to pay your electricity and gas bills by monthly direct debit. In this mode of payment, the supplier figures out how much your annual energy consumption is and then splits the total sum into equal monthly payments, thus enabling you to pay a fixed amount every month regardless of the readings. Moreover, energy suppliers often provide discounts to such customers, since they are assured of regular payments. However, it is necessary to keep yourself updated on your metre readings to be certain that the supplier has charged you the right amount.
By following the aforementioned tips you cannot only read your metre well and find a better system of payment, but also keep yourself informed about all the issues regarding your electricity and gas charges.