Jargon Buster

The energy market is filled with various terminologies and jargon that can be confusing. This guide aims to demystify the complex language commonly used in the energy market.


Deemed Contract

When you move into a property you will be on a deemed contract by default if you have no made any other agreement with the energy company.


DNO (Distribution Network Operator)

These are licensed companies that manage the energy cables and pipes in the UK. In Southern Scotland this will be Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) and Scottish Gas Networks (SGN).


Dual Fuel Tariff

An energy plan that gives you both gas and electricity from the same supplier. Some suppliers may offer a slight discount if you opt for one of these tariffs.


Economy 7/10

This is a type of tariff that will charge you separately for energy used during on-peak and off-peak periods. Economy 7 is usually 7 hours overnight and Economy 10 is 10 hours. Some suppliers may give you off-peak hours during the day. This is more common if you have electric heating.


Energy Price Cap

This is set by Ofgem and dictates how much a supplier can charge a customer on standard variable tariffs. It is often displayed as a representative annual amount based on a typical household’s estimated annual consumption.

It does not set the overall price a customer will pay, but their standing charge and unit rate.


Estimated Annual Consumption

This is the total expected amount of energy you will use in kilowatt-hours. The UK average is 2900kWh of electricity and 12000kWH of gas per year. However, it can vary based on location, property size, type, and how you use energy at home. It is useful when switching suppliers and understanding how you use energy at home.


Fixed Price tariff

A fixed-priced tariff gives you a set unit rate and standing charge for a set amount of time, usually 12 months or 24 months. These tariffs could protect you from fluctuations in the energy market. It does not mean the overall price you pay is fixed regardless of the amount of energy you use.


Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

This is the unit of measurement used for gas and electricity. All gas and electricity consumption is recorded in kilowatt-hours.

1 kWh is equal to running a 1,000-watt appliance for 1 hour.



Meter Point Administration Number. This is a unique reference number to identify your electricity supply point. It can sometimes be called a supply number.



Meter Point Reference Number. This is the unique reference number to identify your gas supply.



The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. This is the appointed regulator that oversees the energy suppliers and industry in the UK.


On-peak / Off-peak

On peak refers to energy that is used at points in the day when many other households will be using energy, for example around 5-6PM when people are cooking and putting the heating on. Off-peak refers to quiet times. Some suppliers have have set on-peak and off-peak periods for Economy 7 meters.


Personal Projection

This is section on your energy bill that estimates how much your energy will cost you over the next 12 months. It is usually estimated based upon previous consumption and regular readings can make it more accurate. This is useful for understanding your energy consumption and switching suppliers.


Priority Services Register

A register kept by the energy suppliers and network operators to identify and protect vulnerable customers.


Standing charge

This is a set fee you pay every day to your energy supplier per meter. It is charged regardless of how much energy you use.

The standing charge covers the upkeep and maintenance of the energy network and supplying your property.


Standard Variable Tariff (SVT)

An energy deal that is not fixed. The price of unit rates and standing charges can fluctuate based upon market conditions. Currently, the cost of SVT’s is set by the energy price cap. It is often known as a default tariff.


Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR)

A section on your energy bill that is a representation of how much you pay for your energy. It can be useful when comparing energy tariffs.


Unit Rate

This is the cost a supplier will charge you per kWh of energy used. It is set in pence per kWh. For example, 34.5p per unit of electricity is used. If you use 10 units of electricity it will cost you £3.45.


Support from Cosy Kingdom

Do you need more support ? Cosy Kingdom is a free and impartial energy advice service available to everyone living in Fife.

Our energy advisors can be contacted by: