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Your bills explained


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Get to know your gas and electricity bills a bit better...

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Your bills explained

  1. 1. Your Bill explained PDF 1 Your bills explained A comprehensive guide to understanding your bill npm9919/05.12
  2. 2. Your Bill explained PDF 2Your detailsThis is the address where we send your bills and where your gas and electricity is normally supplied to. If your energy issupplied to a different property to where we send the bill, you’ll see this address below. It sounds obvious but it’s reallyimportant to check that we’ve got these details correct. If anything’s wrong please let us know. You can find our contactdetails on your bill.When you get in touch with us, please don’t forget to quote your account number, so we can find your accountdetails faster. 1 npm9919/05.12
  3. 3. Your Bill explained PDF 3Account balanceYour account balance will look slightly different depending on the way you pay.If you pay for your energy when you receive your bill, we’ll show you how much to pay and when you need to pay it.If you pay for your energy by monthly Direct Debit we will request your bank to make a payment to us from youraccount. If we’ve reviewed your account and your Direct Debit amount needs to change, either because you’re payingtoo much or too little, we’ll show your new payment amount on your bill. You can see an example of this below. 2 npm9919/05.12
  4. 4. Your Bill explained PDF 4If you pay for your energy each quarter by Direct Debit, we’ll show the payment for this quarter and the date we willrequest payment from your bank account. We’ll also show you if your Direct Debit discount has been applied since yourlast bill. You could also pay for your electricity or gas by prepayment meter. In this case, your bill will show your accountbalance. This may be different to what you see on your meter.Remember, whichever way you pay, we’re here to help. If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills please give us a call.There are a number of ways we can help. To find out more about our Direct Debit scheme visit not take a look at our energy saving tips which explains how you could cut your energy bills through energy efficiencyaround the home. Visit or contact us on our energy efficiency helpline on 0800 022 220 (free frommost landlines) or 0330 100 8620 (included in any ‘inclusive minutes’ from mobiles). 3 npm9919/05.12
  5. 5. Your Bill explained PDF 5Meter readingsWe will always tell you whether your bill is based on a meter reading or an estimate. We use meter readings tocalculate how much gas or electricity you’ve used.The more accurate the reading the more accurate your bill or statement will be.One of our meter readers may call round to your property to take a reading; we call this an ‘actual’ reading. Or maybeyou’ve sent one online, by phone, or by post; we call this a ‘customer’ reading. If we have neither of these we’ll estimateyour usage based on things like your previous usage and time of year - we call this an ‘estimated reading’. 4 npm9919/05.12
  6. 6. Your Bill explained PDF 6While we try to make our estimated readings as accurate as possible, they could be too low, meaning you are buildingup a debt, or they could be too high which means you could be paying too much.If your bill is based on an estimate, you can give us a new meter reading. We’ll use this to make your future bills moreaccurate and in some circumstances we’ll issue you with a new bill or statement.You can submit an up to date meter reading online by going to My npower account at when you send us a meter reading we might not be able to use it to calculate your next bill. Perhapsbecause we’d already started to calculate your bill, or because it’s not in line with previous readings. Don’t worry,the reading will be added to your account for future bills, or if there’s a problem we’ll be in touch.Remember, if you sign up to our meter read reminder service, you’ll receive emails to prompt you to send areading at just the right time. You can register or login online at npm9919/05.12
  7. 7. Your Bill explained PDF 7Important messages and helpful informationOn the front of your bill you may find other messages that you could find useful. We update these messages regularlyso keep an eye out for new information and offers here. The back of your bill also contains useful information. We knowthat the gas and electricity industry can use a lot of confusing terms, so there’s a Jargon Buster to help you understandthem. Plus there’s a help and advice section for you to refer to whenever you want or need to. You can find this usefulinformation on the reverse of the first page of your bill. 5 npm9919/05.12
  8. 8. Your Bill explained PDF 8How we calculate your billStep 1: We look at the amount of energy you have used - which could change depending on the time of year,for example.Step 2: We apply our prices to get a cost for the energy that you’ve used.Step 3: Finally, we take into account any discounts, credits or debits on your account, to work out the final amount youneed to pay (Adding VAT at the applicable rate) - if you pay your bill quarterly, on receipt of bill, monthly Direct Debitor via a prepayment meter. 6 steps explained fully on next page npm9919/05.12
  9. 9. Your Bill explained PDF 9Step 1: Working out how much energy you’ve used.We look at the last reading from your previous bill (or if you’re a new customer we’ll use your opening meter reading)and we compare it to the latest reading we may have for you.The difference is the energy you’ve used; this energy is shown in Kilowatt hours (kWh).We have to make more calculations for gas. For more details check out the Jargon Buster on the back of your bill.These may be actual readings which have been taken by one of our meter readers or customer readings that you’vesent in yourself. If we don’t have either of these we’ll base it on an estimate.Now we have the amount of energy you have used we can work out the cost. This is Step 2.Step 2: Applying prices to work out the cost of your energy.On most tariffs you pay a higher rate for the first units that you use each year; this is known as the primary rate. Weshow the units used at this rate and the cost of each unit.The primary rate gas rate is charged across 12 months on a seasonably adjusted basis with more primary rate unitsbeing charged in the winter months. The maximum units charged at the primary rate in each month is detailed in theJargon Buster on the back of your bill.You then pay a lower rate for the rest of the units you use. The reason we charge different rates is because there’sno standing charge on most of our tariffs so the higher rate helps to cover the fixed costs we have to pay to supplyelectricity or gas to you, for example distribution and metering costs. For other tariffs these fixed costs are coveredby a standing charge. A single unit rate then applies to the energy you use.If you have an Economy 7 tariff you’ll also see a separate rate for the units you use during the 7 hour cheaperrate period.This is explained in more detail on the back of the first page of your bill in the ‘Jargon Buster’ section.In this final column we multiply each tariff rate by the relevant number of units used and add it up to get your totalenergy cost. We then add VAT to give you a total charge for this period.If prices have changed since your last bill or you’ve switched to a new tariff, you’ll see how we’ve taken the new pricesinto account here. We simply look at the amount of energy you’ve used at your old prices and the amount of energyyou’ve used at the new prices to work out the total cost.So if prices do change, don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything else.Step 3: Including credits or debits to work out your final balance.To work out your final balance we look at your total energy cost for the period and then include any credits or debits onyour account.This section will look slightly different depending on the way you pay.If you pay the full amount once you’ve received your bill, we’ll show the total amount you need to pay. If you’ve madeany payments since your last bill, you’ll see it there.If you pay by monthly Direct Debit, we’ll show your account balance from your last statement and add on your totalenergy charges for this period. We then take off any payments you’ve made and any Direct Debit discount that’s beenapplied to give an account balance. This is for your information only as we will continue to request payments from yourbank account.If you pay via a Prepayment meter, we’ll summarise the payments you have made compared to the account charges.This summary is for your information only; please continue to credit your meter as normal. Whichever way you pay,you may see that a credit or debit has been applied to your bill due to ‘transfers’ or ‘cancelled accounts’. npm9919/05.12
  10. 10. Your Bill explained PDF 10Your energy use chartThis chart shows your average daily energy use for this bill period compared to the same time last year, so you can seewhether you’re using more or less energy than before. There are lots of things that can change the amount of energyyour household uses, for example the weather, new appliances and changes to your lifestyle. If you’re already trying tosave energy, this chart is a great way to see if you’re making progress. If you’ve not yet tried to use less energy, why notgive it a go? It could help save you money and do your bit for the environment.Take a look at our energy saving tips at 7Phone calls: Calling us on a 0800 number is normally free when you call from a landline but charges may vary if you use a mobile. Calling us on a 0330 number will cost you no more than 01 or 02 numbers from landlines or mobiles.If you get ‘inclusive minutes’ with your package, calls on a 0330 number will be part of these.npower is a registered trademark and the trading name of Npower Limited (Registered No. 3653277), Npower Gas Limited (Registered No. 2999919), Npower Northern Limited (Registered No. 3432100) who also act as an agent forNpower Northern Supply Limited (Registered No. 2845740) for the supply of electricity, Npower Yorkshire Limited (Registered No. 3937808) who also act as an agent for Npower Yorkshire Supply Limited (Registered No. 4212116)for the supply of electricity. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office: Windmill Hill Business Park, Whitehill Way, Swindon SN5 6PB. npm9919/05.12