Unless something goes wrong with your supply or you think you’ve been overcharged, then your energy bill is likely to be the only communication you’ll ever have with your supplier, which means a lot of information needs to be crammed into it.
At first glance, it can be difficult to distinguish which parts of the bill are relevant to you - a quick energy bill check might not be enough to spot any overpayments you may be making for the energy your business is using.
To help you understand your energy bill, here is an example of a British Gas business electricity bill, along with all the key information listed below. If you’re not a British Gas customer, the actual layout of your bill might be different, but all the information will be the same.
What is the key information on your business energy bill?
- Bill date, bill number and VAT number - This is the date the bill was sent on, as well as the number of the bill. This information is often used by suppliers to quickly and easily identify your bill when making enquiries. The VAT number is the number that your supplier has on record for your business’s registered VAT number. If it is incorrect you should inform your supplier.
- Account number - This is a number used by your supplier to easily identify customer accounts.
- Contract details - This is a brief outline of your current contract details.
- Billing period - This the period of usage that you’re being charged for.
- Type of charges (accurate/estimated) - This indicates what type of reading your charges are based on. Accurate readings are based on a recent meter reading. Estimated readings, on the other hand, may not be representative of your current consumption habits, which is why it’s important to provide your supplier with regular meter readings.
- Outstanding charges from previous bills - This indicates if you owe any balance from your previous bills.
- Charges for the billing period - These are the charges that you have incurred during the latest billing period.
- VAT charges - This section shows how much VAT is added onto your bill. Remember, certain types of organisations may be entitled to a reduced rate of VAT, but this isn’t offered as standard.
- Total amount due - This is the sum total of your charges, including outstanding amounts from your previous bill, costs incurred from this month’s bill, as well as your VAT. You should also be shown the business bill pay options open to you, such as Direct Debit or payment on receipt of your bill.
- MPAN/MPRN Number - This is the code used by your supplier to quickly and easily identify your meter and property.
- Break down of charges - This is a breakdown of charges, so you can see exactly what you’re being charged for in this billing period. You can also see what percentage of VAT you are being charged as well. Get in touch with your supplier if you think you should be paying the reduced rate of VAT.
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