I moved into my first home in November last year after living with my parents and provided the electric and gas meter readings to my supplier. I have received a massive energy bill that I was not expecting and do not have a clue what half of it means. Can you help?

Energy bills can be confusing at first, with lots of information and abbreviations, and understanding them can be challenging.

The bill should outline information about your account, including your personal details; your account reference number; the period you are being charged for; as well as the readings and amount you owe to the energy company.

Bills Broken Down

There will also be information on the meter serial numbers registered to the property, that sometimes show as ‘MPAN’ or ‘MPRN’ numbers, and these are unique to your address.

The bill should also highlight any payments that you have made towards your energy usage, including direct debits, deducting these from the total amount that you owe.

Electricity is measured and billed in units called ‘kilowatt hours’, showing as ‘kWh’ on bills and statements. Gas is measured in cubic metres or feet, with the consumption showing as an ‘m’ or ‘ft’ with a small number ‘3’ next to it.

The bill should tell you if you are being billed from estimated readings, which can sometimes be the case if a reading has not been supplier or incorrectly registered on the supplier’s system. Most importantly, you should check that you are being billed correctly.

How can I sort the problem?

When you moved into the property, you highlighted that you took a meter reading, and this should be the start meter reading on the bill. By ensuring the end reading on the bill matches your meter, you can make sure the charges are as accurate as possible.

If you do not think you have been billed correctly, you should reach out to your energy supplier in the first instance to discuss this with them. They can investigate the issue, as well as carry out checks with you to make sure the meter is working correctly. They may also be able to assist if the bill is correct and you will have difficulty making payment.

What additional support is available?

Advice Direct Scotland run several services that can help if you are struggling with the cost-of-living. provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland and can answer energy-related enquiries. We can also reach out to your energy supplier on your behalf if you are unable to resolve the issues with them yourself.

Our specialist advisers are available on 0808 196 8660, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, with more information available in the Knowledge Centre at

Benefit Eligibility

It is also worthwhile looking into benefits you may be entitled to. The benefits calculator at allows you to check your entitlement, including Scottish devolved benefits.

The team at can also run through a check with you over the phone on 0808 800 9060, and can assist with applications if required.