Once upon a time a long time ago, you used to open up your Electricity Bill and there before was three months worth of usage, how much it comes to and that was it. To pay it, you either posted a cheque (you remember them) or pop down to your local Electricity Board Shop, found in every Town and pay there.

I decided some while back that the best way to pay for my electricity, we don’t have gas, was by Direct Debit; pay the same amount monthly and at the end of the said year, you owed them or they owed you. At first this seemed to work quite well, then came Night Rates and Meters where you need to note two numbers off of, yet there are three etc.

Then someone decided, for reasons I can only assume that you will read them and presume all is OK, they send you a 4 Page plethora of figures, units, rates and more figures.

I got my latest Electricity Bill today and it goes like this……..

Bill Breakdown
Amount of last bill, Payments, 2 months of Direct Debits, Total payments. This arrived at a minus £240.00 figure – great !

Electricity you have used this period
Meter number,, Prite protection 2009 Economy 7 DD, Reading period, Day, previous, latest, units, split, pence, charges, then the same for night, Total before VAT £124.77

Electricity Charges
£124.77 Direct Debit discount £2.00 (thanks), VAT refund 10p (Wow), VAT at £6.24 = Total Charges this period £128.91 – Total for this period £30.44
Now call me old fashioned, but why are there 2 totals, because both are in £’s ?

Then we get the Nectar points breakdown , only 5 sets of figures in that one.

Finally, we get to the Bill Summary – great, I will now know exactly what it is and all will be plainly obvious. Amount of last Bill = £141.53, Payments = £240.00, Charges this period minus discounts = £128.91, Total for this period £30.44.

On the left is a little picture showing me what units I used last year. That’s handy, you can go back to the previous page and look how much this year and compare. Maybe, just a thought, they could put this year’s in the picture graph as well.

Altogether there are 22 x £ amounts and 15 x units amounts.

Although I didn’t study Advanced Mathematics at University, I have actually worked out that I used less this quarter than the same quarter last year, so bingo there anyway. Also, the Bill is fairly good, all be it I can’t for the life of me fathom out whether they owe me or I owe them.

Luckily I don’t have Gas, two of these would send me into permanent stress and total bewilderment.

If a Bill has so much on it, they surely must know what’s going on, so all is well, I think.

I should add on a serious note that I purchased a Electricity usage Monitor a year ago. It tells me what I’m using, more or less than yesterday, I can see the difference when switching Appliances on and off and all in ‘real time’
You can read about this by going to the main site Monitoring your Electricity Page.

Finally, all Companies have a job to do and I guess, if we could understand the Bills, we’d feel quite good about it.

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