If you think your energy bill is too high or too low
Your energy bill usually reflects the amount of energy you’ve used. It’s normal for your bill to increase if, for example, you start:
- putting the heating on more often
- using a tumble dryer or electric heater
- living with more people
If your bill suddenly increases or decreases and you haven’t changed your usage, it’s worth looking into. If you’re charged for less than you’ve used, you’ll get an increased bill to make up for it later.
If you’re wondering why your direct debit payments have increased, the steps are different.
Check if your bill is an estimate
If you haven’t given a meter reading to your supplier recently, they might use your average energy usage over a period to calculate your bill.
For example, you might get a bill in summer that’s based on the energy you used during winter.
Check your bill - it should say if the bill is estimated.
You don’t need to pay the estimated bill. Contact your supplier to give an up-to-date meter reading, and ask them to send you a new bill.
Your supplier can only ask you to pay for energy you’ve used in the last year. If they send you ‘catch-up’ bills for energy you used more than 12 months ago, you won’t normally need to pay them. This is because you’re protected by ‘back-billing’ rules.
If you have behaved unreasonably you won't be protected by the back-billing rules - your supplier could bill you for the full amount. Unreasonable behaviour includes:
not allowing the supplier access to read your meters without a good reason
stealing electricity or gas
Check your last meter reading
If your bill isn’t an estimate, it should include the meter reading your supplier used to work out how much you owe.
To make sure your bill is accurate, take a new meter reading and compare it to the figure on your most recent bill.
If there’s a big difference
You might have been billed for the wrong meter, or previously given an inaccurate reading. Contact your supplier and give them the new reading - ask them to:
send a new bill with the up-to-date meter reading
check you’ve been billed for the right meter
If the meter readings are similar
If you’re sure you haven’t changed your usage, it could be that your meter is faulty. This means your reading won’t reflect the energy you’ve actually used.
If you have an Economy 7 or multi-rate meter
You’re charged a different amount depending on when you use your energy. It’s usually more expensive during the day and cheaper at night.
If your bill is higher than expected, the first thing to do is contact your supplier and ask them to check your meter is set up properly. You could be being charged less during the daytime, and more in the evening.
Check if your supplier has changed their prices
Your supplier will usually let you know if their prices change, but it depends on your contract. If you’re on a fixed tariff, it shouldn’t change for the length of the agreement.
If you aren’t sure, get in touch with your supplier and ask them whether they’ve increased the price.