Understanding your Electricity Bill - A Glossary of Terms by: Chileshe Mwape

If you're shopping around for the cheapest supplier of electricity in your area, there are some terms that you need to be familiar with. Below is a list of the some of the commonly used terms.

1. KWh (kilowatt hour) - The standard unit of measurement for both gas and electricity consumption.

2. MPRN (Gas Meter Point Reference Number) - Your MPRN is the unique identifying number for the gas meter at your property. It's a ten digit number, commonly referred to as an "M" number, and can be found on your gas bill.

3. Unit Price - a variable charge dependent on your level of consumption. The unit price will be applied to every kilowatt hour (kWh) of gas or electricity used.

4. Standing Charge - A fixed daily charge for the supply of energy, irrespective of your level of consumption.

5. MPAN (Electricity Supply Number) - MPAN is the unique identifying number for the electricity meter at your property. The MPAN is commonly referred to as a "Supply Number" or "S" number, and it can be found on your electricity bill.

6. Economy 7 electricity tariffs use different pricing structures according to the time of day. For example, the night rate is cheaper than the day rate.

7. Ofgem - the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, is the independent regulator of the gas and electricity industries.

8. Electricity Association - The representative body of the major UK electricity companies.

9. Green Tariff - based on the purchase or generation of energy from renewable energy sources such as sun, wind, water, and waste, or in funds being allocated to fund conservation and environment protection projects.

10. Energywatch acts on behalf of the consumer, as an independent watchdog for the gas and electricity industry.

11. Dual Fuel - Most suppliers these days provide both gas and electricity known as "dual fuel" deals. This means that you receive gas and electricity from the same supplier.

Copyright � 2005. Chileshe Mwape writes for The Cheap Electricity Guide website at: http://www.cheap-electricity-guide.org.uk/ and he’s also a regular contributor to the Ways2Save website at: http://www.ways2save.org.uk/