September 6, 2018

More people in Britain understand French than their energy bills

Here at Flipper, we’re working towards understanding why an estimated 14 million households are overpaying on their energy bills every year. New research conducted by Flipper shows that a whopping 50% of people in Britain don’t understand everything written on their energy bills, but 70% understand basic written conversational French. Encroyable!

C’est vrai. In fact, Flipper’s research shows that a large portion of the population don’t know what some of the basic terminology used on energy bills mean. Terms like standard variable tariff, primary and secondary units, and kilowatt hours (kWh) leave many energy consumers utterly nonplussed.

Energy bills? Ils sont un énorme problème!

Don’t worry, if you’re one of the 50% of Brits who struggle with reading your energy bill, it doesn’t mean you’re an imbécile. In fact, it’s in your energy suppliers’ best interests to make your energy bill seem as compliquéas possible. It’s no coincidence that around a quarter of energy consumers don’t know how much they’re paying every month for gas and electricity. Further to this, 66% of adults don’t fully understand what the energy price cap is or how it might affect their energy bills.

If energy bills remain impenetrable, customers won’t always understand the rates they’re paying for their energy, and then they won’t know what to look for when they go searching for a better deal. In fact, over 4 in 10 people wouldn’t bother to shop around energy suppliers for a better deal when moving house.

Translating your energy bill into plain English: a brief dictionnaire

Still désorienté by all this energy bill business? Here’s a quick translation of some of the terms you’ll see popping up most frequently on your energy bills:

  • Standard Variable Tariff (SVT): A SVT is a basic indefinite contract rate offered by an energy supplier. Customers are usually moved onto an SVT after their sweetheart fixed-term teaser rate expires. SVTs are usually much more expensive than other tariff rates offered by an energy supplier. Many people get caught out by SVTs because they don’t shop around for a better deal after their existing energy deal runs out.
  • Kilowatt hour (kWh): This is a standard unit of measurement for household energy consumption. You’ve used one kWh when you’ve consumed 1000 watts of energy. For example, a 100-watt incandescent light bulb will take 10 hours to consume 1 kWh.
  • Primary and secondary (or first and next) units: Depending on what tariff you’re on, your bill will be calculated using primary units followed by secondary units. This is to ensure that customers don’t unfairly over-consume energy. It’s a bit like phone contracts: imagine that primary units are all the data, minutes and texts included in your bundle, and secondary units are made up of the out-of-bundle charges.

Switching energy suppliers isn’t as difficile as you might think

The energy market is a tricky place. Flipper works to find the best possible energy deals for our customers, and we’ll switch you seamlessly onto a new supplier if we find a better tariff: no jargon, no Franglais, no hassle.

In fact, on average we save our customers £385 per year. That’s enough to invest in some French lessons, or perhaps pop off on a cheeky Parisian weekender. So, if you think you might be paying too much money for your energy, trust Flipper to switch energy suppliers for you.

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