Understanding your energy bills

Managing your energy bills effectively is essential for maintaining a balanced household budget. This guide aims to demystify the various elements of an energy bill and provide you with a clear understanding of how to interpret and manage your energy bills.

Below you’ll find 4 images of an energy bill from our made-up energy company – Fife Supply Energy, these bills are designed to look like ones you’d expect to see from your own energy supplier.

Take a look at the bills and then scroll down the page to find out what each corresponding section means.



Account number

This is your account number or customer reference number. It’s a number unique to you and your energy account.

You’ll often need this when contacting your supplier, or accessing your account services online.


Bill date and billing period

The bill date shows when the statement was produced and sent out to you.

The billing period shows the date range that the bill relates to.


Previous account balance

This shows the balance on your account carried over from the last bill.

This should match the amount shown in the balance (7) of your previous bill.


Payments made

This records all payments you have made during this billing period.

It is important to check to make sure all payments you have made are recorded here.


Opening balance

The opening balance shows the total outstanding credit or debit balance on the account prior to the charges from this bill being added.


Total energy cost

This shows the total cost of all energy used during this billing period.


New account balance

The new account balance shows what balance is remaining on the account after the new charges have been deducted from the opening balance.


Personal Projection

Your personal projection shows what your supplier expects you to pay for your energy use over the next 12 months.

This is an estimate based on your previous usage or estimates given prior to a switch.

Remember another supplier may have cheaper tariffs available.


Tariff comparison

Your supplier will also show you a comparison to any other available tariffs that they have available to their customers.

If you are able to switch to a cheaper tariff with the same supplier, it will show here.


Meter reference numbers

Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN for gas). This is your unique supply number. It must appear on your bill by law.

The meter number is a unique identifier for every meter in the UK.

This should match the meter number displayed on the casing of the meters in your property.

You should check these match when you move home or have a new meter installed.


Electricity supply number

Electricity Supply Number or Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN for electricity) This is your unique supply number. It must appear on your bill by law.


Meter readings

This shows the meter readings the bill is based upon. It will often show as either estimated (E), Customer read (C) or Actual reading (A).

You should provide an accurate reading around your billing date to ensure your bill is covering the energy you have used.


Energy use summary

This is your cost summary. It shows you the cost of the energy you have used. This is measured in a unit known as a kilowatt hour (kWh).

You may have more than 1 unit rate if you have an economy 7 or complex meter.

The standing charge on your bill is a daily fee that is charged regardless of how much energy you have used.

VAT is charged on your bill at a rate of 5% for domestic properties.


Total energy costs

This shows you the total cost for each fuel in this billing period inclusive of unit rates, standing charges & VAT.


Tariff details

This section will provide details of your current tariff.

This will show:

·       The name of your current tariff (and if it is fixed or variable)

·       What payment method you use

·       If the tariff has an end date

·       Exit fees payable if you move to a different supplier prior to your contract end date

·       Total usage in kilowatt-hours over the past year.

This section is useful if you are comparing energy tariffs


Electricity mix

Your supplier will show you where they source their electricity from to put into the national grid.

While your supplier has to purchase energy to meet the demand for their customers. It does not mean this is the energy you are necessarily using.


Gas conversion calculation

Gas meters record volume of gas used in either cubic feet (ft3) or cubic meters (m3).

Your supplier will convert these units into kilowatt hours on your bill.

This calculation shows you how they have done that and is useful if you want to monitor your own meter readings.


Contact details

Your supplier will provide you with details of the different ways you can get in touch with them.


Gas emergency

This details how you should respond to a gas emergency


Electrical supply fault

This details how you should respond to an electrical supply fault


More advice

Would you like some more advice on understanding your bills? Cosy Kingdom is a free and impartial energy advice service available to everyone living in Fife.

Our energy advisors can be contacted by:

  • Calling
    01592 807930
  • Texting COSY then YOUR NAME to 88440
  • Emailing info@cosykingdom.org.uk
  • Request advice online
  • Search for us on Facebook and Twitter