Useful Energy related Glossary

Customers may find it difficult to understand some of the energy related terms when they switch energy suppliers. Unless they understand the actual term it is difficult for someone who is interested in switching. Most of the customers are either not interested in switching gas and electricity because of the jargons that they don’t understand or they think it is a complicated process. We have tried to create a complete glossary of the energy terms in alphabetical order.  Hope this will help you to understand some of the complicated terms used in Gas and Electricity Industry.

Energy related Glossary –

Account holder- Account Holder is the person who holds the Energy Account. He is the person responsible for the energy bills. The name of the Account Holder appears on the bill.

Account number– It’s a unique number that identifies your energy account. It appears on the front page of your bill.

Actual bill– A bill based on actual meter reading. Either the supplier confirms the meter reading, denoted by “A” or the Customer confirms the meter reading to the supplier, denoted by “C”.

Automated Meter Reading (AMR)– Meter readings sent automatically from a smart meter

Big Six– Big Six refers to the 6 biggest gas and energy suppliers in the UK. They are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. Their market share has decreased from 99.8% to 92.4% in the past 5 years.

Billing address– Billing address is the place where your bill will be sent. It may be vary from the place of energy usage, commonly called as the supply address.

Billing period– The time duration you are billed, very often a quarter (3 months).

Calorific value– This value refers to how much heat is generated from a volume of gas, demonstrating the quality of the gas.

Capped tariff– This refers to Tariffs that are capped to a particular unit rate. When the price increases, the capped tariff prices doesn’t increase, but at the same time when the prices comes down, your unit rate also comes down.

Dial meter– It is an old style gas and electricity meter that has dials displaying usage.

Digital meter– It is a modern meter that shows usage digitally.

Direct debit– It is the payment option for many tariffs, in which an amount is consequently debited from your account on a pre-fixed date, usually on a monthly basis. It is extremely helpful as you don’t need to recall paying bills.

Dual fuel– Dual fuel refers to both gas and electricity. There are generally some discounts for having the same supplier for both gas and electric.

Economy 7– A meter that enables you to pay less for seven hours during night is called an Economy 7 Meter.

Economy 10– Similar to Economy 7, this tariff facilitates 10 hours of cheaper electricity per day.

Energy consumption– It is the amount of energy used by customer. Gas and electricity meters measures energy consumption.

Energy supplier– A Company that supplies gas and electricity to your property. You pay your energy bills to your energy supplier.

Estimated bill– This is an approximate bill when you do not submit the meter reading yourself or when the meter reader has not taken the meter reading due to some reason. It is identified by the letter “E” on your bill. Energy suppliers provisions customers to submit their own readings online or via automated telephone services.

Fixed tariff / fixed price plan- A tariff where the price you pay per unit of gas or electricity is guaranteed to stay the same for a specified period of time. You’re protected if prices go up, but be aware that you won’t benefit if prices come down.

Fossil fuels– Traditional fuel such as gas, oil and coal.

Green electricity– Renewable sources, such as wind and solar is used to generate green electricity.

Grid– The UK’s energy transmission system, operated by the National Grid.

Insulation– A range of products and materials that will make your home more energy efficient, by retaining the heat is referred to as Insulation. Well known insulation are draught excluders, pipe/tank lagging, cavity wall insulation, double glazing and loft insulation.


Kilowatt hour (kWh)– Gas and electricity usage is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). You’ll see your usage and unit price in kWh on your bill.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)– In certain properties where there are mains gas (gas through pipe lines), LPG is the alternative. LPG is usually kept in a tank at these properties.

Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN)– A unique 21-digit number that recognizes your electricity meter.

Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN)– A unique number (up to 10 digits long) that identifies your gas meter.

National Grid– Owner and operator of the UK’s energy transmission system.

Ofgem– The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) is the UK energy industry’s regulatory body. It advances competition in the industry, guaranteeing consumers on choice and quality.

Prepayment meter– It enable consumers to pay for their gas and electricity upfront via coins or tokens.

Renewable energy– Energy from natural sources, such as wind and solar.

Smart meters– Smart meters automatically send readings to your supplier and you don’t need to submit readings yourself. Even, the government has set a target that all homes should have a smart meter by 2020.

Solar power- Energy produced from solar panels and converted into heat or electricity is known as Solar power.

Standard plans– Standard plans are default tariffs by energy supplier. If you’ve never switched, you will most probably be in a Standard Plan. Alternatively, when you do not switch after the contract period, there is a chance that the current supplier would place you on Standard plans that are usually expensive.

Standing charge– Charge that is added on daily basis onto your usage bill by energy providers is referred to as Standing Charge. Even when you don’t use electricity or gas, your bill will have a fixed cost.

Supply address– This is the address or the place where energy is used and might be possible that it would be different from billing address, if you have a second property for example.

Switching– The industry-wide term used for switching energy suppliers.

Tariff– There are a lot of tariffs available in the Energy market specific to Suppliers. The amount of money that you pay for your Gas and Electricity depends on the tariff that you choose.

Unit price– The amount you pay per unit of gas electricity (measured in kilowatt hours).

Value Added Tax (VAT)– A tax imposed onto products and services by the government. It’s currently 5% on energy prices.

Variable tariff– It’s just opposite to fixed tariffs, variable tariffs can go up and down according to the fluctuation in market. If market prices rises, you’ll pay more but however if they drop, you’ll pay less. Many consumers incline towards fixed tariff for getting its benefits, but the low cost tariff on the market is often a variable tariff.

Wind power– Electricity that is generated by wind turbines.

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