If you have non-half hourly meter, it is yours and the supplier’s responsibility to read the meter periodically. If your supply is half hourly metered, your data collector will collect readings remotely every 30 minutes. If these options aren’t possible, the supplier will estimate what you’ve used based on previous usage. It’s vital to check any estimated meter readings on your bill and correct the readings with your supplier if they’re different. This will avoid accruing large debit/credits and help you monitor usage more effectively.

Depending on your contract, consumption may be invoiced on different rates. Suppliers use different rates for energy used in the day and night. Day consumption is typically between 07.00-24.00 and night is between 24.00-07.00. Some meters may have more registers, and unit rates will be agreed in your contract.

The gas and electricity you use is billed in pence per kWh. This can include other charges if you opt for a fixed contract. E.g. feed in tariff or data collection. Standing charge – this is a fixed cost agreed in the contract and is charged per day regardless of how much energy is used. The elements your standing charge includes will be detailed in your contract.

If you are on a half hourly metered supply you will find a kVA charge on your invoice. This is your available capacity set by the distribution network operator (DNO). It’s might be referred to as the capacity or availability charge on your bill and you will be charged per kVA agreed. The charge is set by the distribution network operator and if you exceed the maximum demand allocated you’ll be charged an excess fee by your energy supplier.

Business users also must pay the Climate Change Levy. Its aim is to incentivise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. This is charged per kWh for gas and electricity and is reviewed every April. Some eligible businesses will pay a reduced rate, these include charities and domestic energy users. VAT is charged at 20%, unless you are eligible for reduced rates.

Your supplier might also include information about your contract on your periodic invoice. This might include the contract end date or earliest termination date – the latter will help avoid high out of contract rates when switching between contracts or suppliers.