How to Read Your Business Energy Bill: A Guide

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Energy bills are tricky to understand. Our guide is here goes through how to read your business energy bills, and break down everything you need to know.

How to Read Your Business Energy Bill: A Guide

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Energy bills are littered with complex terms and abbreviations which can make it hard to work out what you’re paying for. Our guide goes through how to read your business energy bills, and break down all the important stuff you need to know.

It’s no surprise that many people struggle to get to grips with all the info on an energy bill. They just glance at the total, then pay up! However, understanding your energy supplier's bill is very important for your business. After all, how can you be sure that you’re on the right deal?

Why Try To Understand Business Energy Bills?

The greatest benefit of understanding your company’s energy bills is finding ways to save money for your business. When you’re aware of the tariff you’re on and the amount you’re being charged for every unit of electricity or gas you’ll be able to determine whether you’re paying over the odds.

Simply by understanding a handful of details, you’ll be in a stronger position to switch to a provider who can offer you a better deal.

What Is Included On A Business Energy Bill?

Here’s a brief overview of what you can find on a business energy bill. This might vary a little from provider to provider, but this is the most common information you’ll find:

  • Your account number, bill number, and VAT number.

  • The type of contract you are on.

  • The end date of your contract.

  • The amount you have been charged for the billing period.

  • The amount of energy you have used the billing period.

  • A breakdown of the charges. This includes the energy charge, standing charge, VAT, climate change levy.

  • Details of outstanding balances and payments already received for previous billing periods.

  • MPAN and MPRN numbers.


Want to know what these different parts of an energy bill mean? Read our FAQs on understanding energy bills to learn more.

How Do I Know Which Tariff Is My Business On?

The first thing to know about understanding your bill is to work out the tariff that you’re on. You should find this on the bill, usually on its front page. If you’re on a standard tariff, this is a red flag. Usually, this is the worst kind of tariff, with fluctuating prices and no benefits or perks. On the upside, however, you won’t be tied into a standard tariff, so you’ll be free to change at any time.

How Do I Know How Many Units Am I Consuming?

Electricity and gas units are measured in kilowatt-hours (or kWh). Your bill will tell you the number of kilowatt hours you used during your bill period. This information will tell you which times of the year you’re using more energy so you can reduce your usage.

What’s The Difference Between a Standing Charge and a Unit Rate?

A unit rate is the amount you need to pay for every unit of energy you use. This is measured in kilowatts per hour. A standing charge is a flat rate paid to the supplier to cover getting energy to your property. Whilst the unit rate can fluctuate based on how much energy you use., the standing charge does not.

How Do I Pay My Business Energy Bill?

You’ll see the payment method you’re using outlined on your bill too. If it isn’t monthly direct debit you might want to consider making the switch as this is widely regarded as a cheap way to pay for your bills.

What Are My MPRN And MPAN Numbers?

Two other details on your energy bill are your MPAN and MPRN numbers. These are unique to your meters and make it easy to identify which meter is which when you’re switching energy suppliers.

Your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) is for your electricity meter and is sometimes called an Electricity Supply Number. It’s a 21-digit number split into sections and should be located on your bill (usually in one of the corners).

Your MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) is a unique number for your gas meter. It’s 6 to 10 digits long and should also appear on your energy bill.

Note that these numbers are not the same as your customer account number.

Using Your Bill Information To Get A Better Deal

When you understand the information provided on your energy bill, the next step is to use it to get a cheaper deal that is better for your business. If you’re already on a fixed-rate deal, you might need to wait for the contract to end before switching, but if you’re on a standard tariff, switching at any time is possible.

Here at SwitchPal we make it easy to change energy providers and to get a better price for your business. Contact us today by completing our online form with your details. We’re here to make it easy to compare providers and find the perfect price.

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