Understanding Your First Bill

January 10, 2014 News

We are aware that some of our customers have concerns that their first bill is more than they were expecting.  We therefore wanted to explain why this may be the case, and to try and offer some solutions.

Your bill is made of two main charges; the “Standing Charge”, which covers our running costs and maintenance for the district energy scheme; and the variable, consumption based “Unit Charge” which covers the cost of the heating and hot water consumed in your home.  There is also a “Common Heat Availability Charge” which represents a fair proportion of energy used to deliver heat to your home and payable by all residents.

The Standing Charge is billed in advance.  This will mean that your Standing Charge has been calculated from the date that you moved in to your property, up to the end of January 2014.  Having spoken to a number of our customers, this has been an area of misunderstanding and one of the reasons why concerns have arisen.  Please be assured that we will only have started charging you for your heating and hot water from the date that you moved into your property.  Therefore, if you moved in part way through the month you will not have been billed for the whole of that month.

The Unit Charge is billed in arrears based on your consumption of heating and hot water.  The Unit Charge on your first bill will be from the date you moved in to your property up to 1st January 2014. Your consumption and meter readings are summarised on the front page of your bill, but a full breakdown of your consumption is shown on the second page which will provide you with further information about your energy usage.

After you have received your first bill, all future bills will be for the Unit Charge for the previous month’s heating and hot water consumption, the Common Heat Availability Charge for the previous month, and the next month’s advanced Standing Charge – at most a total of 31 day’s charges.

We understand that some residents have had concerns over the meters in their property.  We can confirm that all the meters were verified and commissioned in conformance with relevant industry standards before being handed over to us.  However, you might want to ensure that your thermostat and time controller are correctly configured.  This is not something that we can assist with (since these are part of your property’s internal heating system) but if you do need any assistance in operating or controlling your heating system, please contact your landlord who will be able to help.

Another reason why bills might be higher than expected is due to weather conditions. Your bills will be higher in winter since you will be using more heating now than you will be in the spring and summer.  We do offer a “Fixed Direct Debit” payment option where, rather than being charged for your consumption each month, we can identify your likely annual charges, and divide this by 12 in order that you can pay a fixed monthly amount instead.  This will give you certainty over your payments and will avoid you having to pay higher bills in winter and lower bills in summer.  If you would like to discuss this option further, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Services Team.  Our customers should also be aware that to help reduce the cost of your bill we offer a 2% discount to all customers who pay by Direct Debit and we would encourage our customers to take advantage of this facility.

Our Charges have been agreed by the Supervising Body and have been formulated to offer carbon savings and be comparable in cost to a conventional alternative.

We hope that this information is of assistance, but if you still have concerns please do contact our Customer Services Team.

 

This document was produced for the period for Fixed Charges to the end of January 2014. Should you move in after this date, please be assured your Fixed Charges will be prorated from the date you move in to the last day of the following full month.