Understanding your energy bill

Below is an example of a First Utility bill.  We think an important part of gaining control over your energy usage is fully understanding your bill. We have the most detailed bills in the industry and are in regular consultation with consumer group Which? to make sure our bills are really simple to understand. The bill in this example is based on a dual fuel tariff paid by variable direct debit. When you pay by variable direct debit you are paying for all of the energy you use (in the same way that you pay your telephone bill.) This bill is for the January period, remember winter bills are often higher value than summer bills. Where you see a purple question mark you can hover your cursor over this symbol for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you estimate my electricity usage?

We don’t just pluck a figure out of the air, we base our calculations on two key considerations:

  1. The Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC)

  2. This information is held in a centralised industry database. The EAC is calculated based on the electricity your property has used over the last year. This is generally updated a couple of times a year depending on how often your previous supplier submitted meter readings to this centralised database. This consumption is estimated in kiloWatt hours (kWh). A typical EAC for an average home in the UK is 3300 kWh each year.

  3. Seasonality change or as the industry calls it Profile Coefficients

  4. This is how the industry adjusts estimated consumption due to seasonality. How much electricity do you think you consume in June compared with December? Using this data we can tell you that on average a domestic customer uses 6.38% of their EAC in June and 10.76% of their EAC in December. So, if we were to estimate your consumption for June we would take your EAC of 3300, apply the coefficients of 6.38% and charge you for 210.54 kWh usage.

    Please be aware there are 2 different profile coefficients for domestic customers and 6 profile coefficients for business customers. The example given above is for the most common domestic profile coefficient.

How do you estimate my gas usage?

The same principle is applied to gas, only this time the names are different to reflect the energy you are using. Calculations are based on 2 key considerations:

  1. Annualised Quantity (AQ)

  2. AQ is held on a centralised industry database. Like electricity it is updated a couple of times a year depending on how often your existing supplier submitted your meter readings into the central database. A typical domestic AQ is 20,500, meaning that a typical domestic customer would consume 20,500 kWh each year.

  3. Annualised Load Profile (ALP)

  4. ALP is how the industry adjusts the estimated usage based on seasonality. Using this data we can tell you that on average a domestic customer uses 3.17% of their ALP in June and 14.38% of their ALP in December. If we were to estimate your consumption for June we'll take your AQ of 20,500 kWh, apply the ALP of 3.17% and charge you 649.85 kWh usage.

    Please be aware there is one ALP for domestic customers which is used in the example above and a further 8 ALP for business customers.

My billing email refers to 'the industry' and 'industry data' what does this mean?

 'The industry' is a collection of third party companies that we appoint to look after meters and exchange data between suppliers. Every energy company uses these companies to exchange data when customers switch or have a meter changed or read. One of the key points that may delay us with creating your first bill when you switch to us is using these third parties to verify your opening meter reads. Information needs to be collected regarding your meter read history with previous suppliers and this occasionally takes longer than we would like. Each month we also need to verify your meter reads, if you are submitting them, before we can use them to calculate your bill. If you have a smart meter and your reads are sent to us automatically, we still have to have these verified.

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