Understanding your Business Gas Bill
Back in 2011, Ofgem announced that its understanding of the energy market was poor. Research showed consumers were losing out to higher gas and electricity tariffs.
Ofgem concluded that energy bills were complex and unfair. It's true, it can be an extreme endeavour trying to understand an electric or gas bill. Even the BBC's Business Editor Robert Peston admitted losing the will to live on Radio 4.
There are approximately 300 or so different packages on offer - once you understand price, tarriffs, supplier, all you have to do then is understand the day and night rates.
Getting an understanding of the basic will help improve your knowledge and grow your confidence so that when you do need to contact a gas provider you'll know more of what you want and why.
A standard gas bill for your business should contain the following:
- Business Energy suppliers contact details.
- The date of when the gas bill was issued.
- The gas billing period, (showing the dates the bill refers to).
- The date and amount of the last payment made from the customer to the supplier.
- Your unique customer business reference number or account number, which should be displayed at the top of the page.
- The final amount of gas you've used in this period before VAT is added.
- The standard amount of Business VAT of 20% (domestic VAT is less at 5%) should be shown separately.
- The total price of your gas bill (amount you need to pay your supplier).
- Normally any other additional information that a supplier wishes to share or the customer will frequently appear on the front of the bill.
- Most gas suppliers show their gas supply number in a box however this may be in a small font so look carefully.
- Your meter point reference number, which you will need to switch gas supplier.
- A detailed breakdown of gas used will be shown on the bill. The usage is provided, including the cubit feet (Cu FT) used, cost, and the latest meter readings.
- The bill will also show if the meter readings are estimated or actual and the dates the readings were taken or estimated.
- A contact number will be provided on the gas bill for customers who have specific business requirements such as large print or bills in braille.
- A payment slip will be on or with the bill for businesses who chose to pay their gas via direct debit, by bank or by post.
- The gas bill summary should show: The client the total of your last bill, how much was paid since the last bill, the charges the client incurred for the period of time including any discounts the client is applicable for. The bill will also show any account adjustments.
- The summary will also show the business customer the overall amount of debit or credit that their account is in. This will only be for information only for Direct Debit customer. The summary will also show the date the gas bill should be paid by.