Stop struggling with your energy bill — uSwitch's bill breakdown is here to help
Reading your your energy bill and what you're being charged is crucial to understanding your energy costs and, more importantly, keeping them under control.
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But if slogging through your latest energy charges doesn't sound appealing, we don't blame you. Only one in four report being able to understand the calculations on their bills.
That’s why we’ve taken a sample OVO energy bill and shown you where you'll find the key information. We've even included tips and advice so you can best understand what your energy is costing you and make the most of your energy plan.
The main info on your OVO bill
Plan details and annual usage
A: This is an example QR code you would find on your bill. Your bill's unique code contains information about your tariff and usage. Apps such as uSwitch's "Switching Made Simple" app can scan this code, compare your current bill, and inform you if there are cheaper deals to switch to.
B: Your tariff name could quickly flag whether or not you're on your supplier's often expensive default tariff (standard variable tariff). Ovo's standard variable tariff is called "Simpler Energy". You'll also need your current tariff's name for a comparison
C: This is the date your current plan ends. After this point you'll be rolled onto a tariff chosen by your supplier, which could cost you more. You should switch again onto a fixed plan at this point to avoid overpaying.
D: If you have an exit fee, you may be charged the stated amount when switching to another plan before the current plan ends.
E: This is your annual usage in Kilowatt hours, based on previous meter readings. uSwitch can use this figure to calculate how much you would pay for the next 12 months on different plans.
Charges, balance and credit / debit
F: Taking note of whether you're in debit or credit to OVO can be a good indicator of whether or not your direct debit is at the right level to cover your energy usage.
If you're amounting credit during winter months, it's likely you should be paying a lower direct debit amount. If you're in debit to your supplier in summer months, you'll accrue an even larger debt as you head into winter when your usage increases. Your supplier may automatically increase your direct debit amount in this instance.
Supplying regular meter readings keeps your balance as accurate as possible.
G: Your electricity meter number (MPAN) is usually displayed on a bill next to electricity usage and charges information. The gas equivalent (meter point reference number or MPRN) is usually displayed amongst your gas usage information, listed simply as a strong of 10 numbers.
More info about your OVO energy bill
New requirements from energy regulator Ofgem in 2014 meant many suppliers made major changes to the appearance of their bills.
These changes were designed to make the information clearer and easier to understand. But there are some things to keep in mind before using these new tools.
"Could you pay less?" Your supplier will tell you if you are not on their cheapest plan. If you're not, they will state their cheapest plan currently. This was designed to keep people from sticking with overpriced, "dead" tariffs.
Keep in mind that this is only your own supplier’s cheapest, and may not be the cheapest energy plan on the market. (You can compare energy prices to get a full-market look at what's out there.)