Answering all your questions about your energy
Here you’ll learn all about how you’re charged for your energy use, the types of tariffs available and which one is right for you. Have a question that’s not answered or would like more information? Get in touch with our customer services team today.
If you pay your energy bills by Direct Debit, we’ll send you a statement at the end of each month detailing your charges. You don’t need to do anything; the statement is just for information.
It’s important to keep on top of your energy so here at Utility Point, we’ve made our statements as easy to understand as possible. If you find you need help understanding them, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to assist.
Your energy charges are made up of two components:
- The unit rate, a charge based on the number of kilowatt-hour (kWh) of gas and/or electricity you’ve used, and
- The standing charge, which is based on the number of days we’ve supplied energy to your property.
We calculate your energy charges by multiplying the units you’ve used (or estimated to have used) by the tariff unit rate you are on (£/kWh). We then add the daily standing charge multiplied by the length of the charging period. Finally, we apply VAT (charged at 5%).
For example, if you’ve used 750 kWh of gas and 180 kWh of electricity over a month (30 days), with a unit rate of 3p/kWh, we would work your bill out as follows:
Gas unit rate 3p/kWh x 750 = £22.50
Standing charge 21.00p/day x 30 = £6.30
Electricity unit rate 15.00p/kWh x 180 = £27.00
Standing charge 21.00p/day x 30 = £6.30
Total (ex. VAT) £62.10
Add VAT (charged at 5%) £62.10 x 5% = £3.11
Total (inc. VAT) £65.21
You should always check whether the unit rate and standing charge are including or excluding VAT.
At Utility Point, we ask for monthly meter readings so we can bill you on your actual energy use. However, if we don’t receive a meter reading by the end of your billing period, we’ll need to produce an estimated value to generate a statement.
We estimate usage by using your Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC). This is a number held and managed within a centralised industry database that estimates what the yearly usage of a particular meter will be. You’ll find this figure on any energy bill or statement.
Each electricity meter point in the UK has an EAC associated with it. A typical EAC for an average home is 3,100 kWh a year. We adjust your EAC for seasonality as you would usually use more electricity during the winter months than in the summer.
We estimate gas usage in a similar way to electricity, however, the figure we use is called your Annual Quantity (AQ). Each gas meter point in the UK has an AQ associated with it. A typical AQ for an average home is 12,500 kWh a year.
Please note, EAC and AQ numbers are reviewed and can be updated from time to time, so you may see a different figure on your energy statements.
If you don’t feel these estimated values reflect your usage, please submit meter readings each month so we can calculate your bill from your actual usage. If you submit a meter reading after your statement period, it will be included in your next energy statement.
A standing charge is added to most energy bills and is a fixed daily charge that you pay to cover the fixed costs incurred by an energy provider for supplying your home with gas and electricity.
These costs include keeping your home connected to the energy network, carrying out meter readings, and maintenance.
Your standing charge also goes towards the cost of government initiatives and reducing carbon emissions.
Please note, you may have a separate standing charge for each meter.
A fixed energy tariff guarantees the price of your unit rate and standing charge will stay the same for a defined period. You will still pay for the amount of energy you use so your monthly bill will change to reflect this.
When you sign up to a fixed rate tariff, you get peace of mind that the basic unit prices won’t go up, helping you budget and protecting you from price increases.
A variable energy tariff means that the price per unit of energy is not fixed and could move either up or down depending on wholesale energy prices. So, you could benefit from a drop in price but should also plan for any potential rises as a result of a fluctuating market or other industry costs.
If you’re on a variable tariff and we need to make any changes that could be to your disadvantage, we’ll give you at least 30 days’ notice.
The best energy tariff for you will depend on your usage and situation. A fixed energy tariff will give you the most stable tariff because the cost of your energy will stay the same for the agreed period. This protects you from any price rises and helps you budget more effectively.
A variable tariff, on the other hand, tracks the cost of wholesale energy. This means your unit rate price may go up or down depending on the market.
You won’t usually be tied into a contract with this type of tariff and you can switch without a fee. However, variable tariffs are often more expensive than fixed tariffs.
A tariff comparison rate (TCR) is a rate introduced by Ofgem, the energy market regulator, to help make it easier for people to compare tariffs from different suppliers and is the cost per kWh that a typical customer would pay on a particular tariff.
It is not an actual tariff rate and not something you can switch to, but more of a guideline to help you compare energy tariffs.
To calculate a TCR, we use the unit and tariff rate available on a specific tariff and base the usage on Ofgem’s defined medium usage, which is 12,500 kWh for gas and 3,100kWh for electricity, not on your individual usage.
The calculation is the total annual cost for a ‘medium user’ divided by the number of units of energy used. For example:
365 days x 21.00p standing charge p/day = £76.65
12,500 usage x 2.70p unit rate p/kWh = £337.50
Total annual gas cost = £414.15
TCR = £414.15 (total annual cost) / 12,500 (annual consumption) = 3.31p/kWh.
365 days x 21.00p standing charge p/da) = £76.65
3,100 x 10.50 unit rate p/kWh = £325.50
Total annual electricity cost = £402.15
TCR = £402.15 (total annual cost) / 3,100 (annual consumption) = 12.97p/kWh.
Your energy personal projection is your forecasted energy cost for the next 12 months. It assumes you won’t change or renew your energy tariff over this period. It also assumes you will use the same amount of energy as you did last year, taking into account any meter readings you have provided and includes any discounts or charges that may apply (like VAT).
If you are on a tariff that is due to end in the next 12 months, we’ll assume that you will move onto our UP Variable tariff when your current tariff expires. For example, if your current tariff expires in 3 months, your calculation will be based on 3 months on your existing tariff and 9 months on our UP Variable tariff.
Your personal projection is only an estimate and doesn’t include any credit or debit balance you may have on your Utility Point account.