What factors affect your gas bill?

There are a great many variables that can come into play in today’s energy supply market when working out how much your gas bill will actually be. These range from obvious factors, such as your own personal circumstances and energy consumption levels, right through to complex international finance market calculations.

One of the best ways to find out what you should be paying is to use an energy price calculator. These online services provide quick search results that list details of a wide range of tariffs from numerous providers. By inputting a few simple details about your household and your typical consumption on a website like Comparethemarket.com, you can make an informed choice about which company will provide you with the best value for money.

You’ll still need to look at other factors. Understanding how energy costs are calculated will enable you to make further reductions on the price you pay.

Payment methods

One of the factors you should take into account when looking at ways to reduce your gas bill is your method of payment. A monthly direct debit of either the fixed or variable kind is usually the cheapest way to settle your bills, although most energy suppliers also accept payments over the counter using cash, debit cards and credit cards. Internet and phone payments may also be possible, although some suppliers may charge an additional fee for these services.

Wholesale price

Another major effect on the pricing of the energy you consume is the wholesale price that the supplier pays for the raw fuel on international markets. In 2009, 40% of the wholesale gas that the UK used was imported from other countries, and this figure looks likely to increase year on year. This has led to a position where many companies offer ‘fixed rate’ tariffs, where the price you pay per unit is at a set cost for a fixed term. This price remains constant for that time period, no matter how much international wholesale amounts fluctuate.

Your consumption levels

Your own personal pattern of usage of energy is another major consideration. There are plenty of ways you can reduce this – simply installing an energy monitor in your home lowers consumption levels by as much as 5%. Replacing old appliances with more efficient models and using devices responsibly will also drastically reduce your consumption levels and energy bills.