25th August 2016

Ultimate Energy Glossary

When it comes to energy bills and switching providers you may be faced with quite a few terms or phrases that you are not familiar with and it is our aim to help with this. 

Here’s our ultimate glossary, designed to help you jargon bust your way to lower energy bills. 


Keywords Description
A Actual
E Estimated
C Customer’s own reading
R Removed Reading
D Industry Estimate
CED Contract End Date
CCL* Climate Change Levy (chargeable per KWh): this is a tax for renewable energy support
FiTs Feed in tariff: Another tax for renewable energy subsidies
HH Meter – Half Hourly Meter A communication device attached to the meter allowing the data collector to obtain the half-hourly consumption. Mandatory for sites over 100 kVA. (If supply number starts with 00 it’s a HH meter)
HHD – Half-hourly Data A spreadsheet of all the data from the half-hourly meter.
 DC – Data Collector  Carry out data collection for Half hourly (HH) meters.
 DM – Daily Meter  Where annual consumption is greater than 58,600,000 kWH.
MPAN – Meter point administration number

Also known as MPAN, this is the supply Number or S-Number, it’s a 21-digit reference used in Great Britain to uniquely identify electricity supply points such as individual domestic residences.  

The gas equivalent is the Meter Point Reference Number.

Meter Serial Number

The number stamped on the front of your meter the numbers are unique identifiers. They will change if you change your meter.

Smart Meter: A non-half-hourly meter that can be read remotely. Data is more reliable and more accurate bills are produced.

MSID – Metering System Identifier Metering point/ metering system (the same as MPAN).
kVA One thousand volt amps, similar to one kW.
kW – Kilowatt Equal to 1000 watts.
KWh – Kilowatt-hour Equal to one kilowatt of power supplied continuously for an hour. 1 KWh = 3.306 cu ft of natural gas.
MW – Mega Watt One million watts.
DUoS – Distribution Use of System These charges go towards the operation, maintenance and development of the UK’s electricity distribution networks. These are sometimes bundled into other fees on the bill.
Reactive Power Some distribution network operators charge for the use of Reactive Power. These rates can be reduced or eliminated by installing Power Factor Correction equipment on your site.
Standing Charge A daily or monthly charge to contribute towards the installation, administration and maintenance for the Distribution network operator (DNO) and other local infrastructure.
Fixed Charge Daily, monthly or quarterly charge by the supplier, in addition to the standing charge.
Hydro Surcharge  – System charge
Elexon Variable  – System charge
Elexon Fixed charge  – System Charge
Green Source Fee for using renewable energy.
Pay type Monthly direct debit, quarterly direct debit or cheque.
Supplier The company who you pay for your Gas and Electricity.
Fixed Term Contracts A constant price for the agreed period of time. Fixed charges can include standing charges and availability charges.
MD – Maximum Demand If you have a HH meter, you may be paying a maximum demand charge. This is the maximum capacity. You pay for the Available Capacity and will be penalized if you exceed it.
Non-Domestic Unrestricted You are charged a standard rate based on your consumption (MPAN begins with 03)
Non-Domestic Economy 7 Includes Off-Peak rates during certain hours of the night (MPAN begins with 04)
Unrestricted Units Unrestricted meter usage
Correction Factor This is used to convert gas units into kWh. The standard correction factor for all suppliers is 1.02264.
Ofgem Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
Active Power The rate of producing, transfer or using electrical energy. Measured in watts, kW or MW. Also known as Power or Real Power.
Availability or Agreed Capacity (kVA) The limit of capacity for a site. This is set by the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO). Also known as Capacity Charge.
Reactive Charges Some suppliers and distribution services charge a penalty for the use of reactive power.
Renewable Energy Energy produced using naturally replenishing resources such as solar PV and wind.
CV – Calorific Value Used to calculate the energy consumed based on the volume of gas used. It’s measured in joules per kilogram.

*If you consume more than 33 units of electricity per day, you will be charged CCL or VAT at the full rate by your provider.

So there you have it, our ultimate glossary!

If you come across any terms that are not included in our glossary or you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our switchologists™. 


#Energy #Energy Guides

Jess is part of the SwitchMy content team. She's worked with some of the energy sector's best known brands and helps us demystify business energy for SwitchMy users.

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