Annual energy statements make it easier to switch energy. Find out how they work.
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Annual energy statements are a statement from your energy supplier giving you information about how much gas and/or electricity you've used that year, and how much it has cost you.
What information is on an annual energy statement?
Ofgem says that your annual energy statement must contain:
The name of your tariff
This is crucial for running an accurate comparison and finding a better energy deal. When you enter you tariff details we can use the right rates for your current plan.
How much energy you've used in the past 12 months
This is in kilowatt hours (unless you've been with your energy supplier for less than 12 months). This is a crucial figure and will allow you to run an accurate comparison.
The estimated cost in pounds per year
If you stayed on the same tariff, the tariff stayed the same (e.g. no price rises or price cuts) and if you carried on using the same amount of energy
The main terms and conditions of your tariff
Again these are very important. If you are on certain kinds of tariffs that are fixed for a given period of time you may have to pay an exit fee to leave early for example.
Details of any premiums or discounts
The details could apply to the tariff you're on, or that you may be available to get if you switch to another tariff or payment method with the same supplier (e.g. if you paid by cheque and there was a direct debit discount available, your energy supplier would have to tell you about this on you annual energy statement)
A reminder that you can switch your gas and electricity supplier.
You shouldn't need a reminder to make sure you are getting the best energy deal; if you're not you could be overspending by hundreds of pounds. We recommend you run a comparison once or twice a year to make sure, but, if you forget, your annual energy statement will remind you.
What do annual energy statements mean for you?
Annual energy statements are being introduced by Ofgem as part of a raft of changes designed to give customers more power when it comes to their gas and electricity bills.
Unlike a monthly or quarterly statement which varies by season and just provides the basic information, an annual statement provides a great overview of your total energy use over the the course of the year, regardless of seasonal fluctuations.
As such it tells you exactly how much energy you've used and how much it cost you. Using the same information you can apply different tariff rates to see how much you would pay with a different plan or provider.
Annual energy statements make it easier for people to compare tariffs and make sure that they are getting the best deal on their gas and electricity.
Your annual energy statement will make it easier to switch, because it will provide you with all the information you need to compare prices on one piece of paper, so there's need to hunt around for your bills, worry about whether they're estimated readings or not, guess what your plan name is or do complicated calculations to work out your annual usage.
Annual energy statements are being rolled-out by December 2010, so when you receive yours, don't just shove it in the back of a drawer - act on it. Think of it as an annual reminder to make sure you're paying the cheapest price for your gas and electricity.
How to use your annual statement
The key bits of information on your annual energy statement should be your supplier, the name of the plan you are on, and your total energy consumption over the course of the year in kWh.
Annual consumption in kWh is the key figure. It tells you exactly how much you use, regardless of how much you're being charged for your usage, and regardless of who you're with.
It's therefore the crucial component in an accurate energy comparison. If you log on to our comparison page we ask you to enter your postcode first so we can determine what plans are in your area.
The next page takes you to our calculator where we try and work out exactly how much you're currently using. We can do this using your plan name and how much you spend, or by asking you some questions that will help us put together an accurate estimate. However, the single best way to run a comparison is to use your annual consumption figures in kWh.
Just enter your consumption details, as well as choosing the supplier and plan you are currently on and we will show you whether you're getting the best deal for your energy.
Our results table is up to date with all the latest energy plans and features all energy suppliers in an unbiased and independent way. Our results are ordered according to price alone, with the cheapest plan available to you featuring at the top of our table.
If you're looking for a particular type of plan you can further filter our results according to plan type. If for instance you only want to consider fixed plans, namely plans guaranteeing the rate you pay per kWh for a fixed period of time, we can show you those.
Once you've found a plan that saves you money simply click on the plan name and we can switch you there and then. Just enter some basic details and your account information if you want to set up a Direct Debit account, and we will handle the rest.
We send through your switch request to your new provider, who will in turn contact your old supplier.
Per Ofgem's latest rules, your switch should only take 17 days (three days plus a two week cooling off period) to complete and you don't have to worry about your energy being shut off during this period. The only thing we recommend is submitting a final meter reading to your old supplier.