If you are a customer of an energy supplier, you receive invoices. An annual or final invoice is in fact nothing more than a bill. It shows which services you have purchased, which products you have used or purchased and their costs.
The annual and final invoices
There are two different invoices; the annual invoice and the final invoice. You receive the annual report every year. You receive the final invoice after having terminated your energy contract with your current supplier. For example, because you moved, or because you want to change supplier.
Fixed and variable costs on your invoice
Each invoice can be divided into two cost categories. You have fixed costs that you can save less on, such as delivery costs, network management costs, energy tax reduction and service and administration costs. There are also variable costs that are directly related to your consumption.
You can save on fixed costs by comparing suppliers and choosing the one that best suits your needs, expectations and budget.
You can save on variable costs by being more aware of energy consumption, because, when you consume less, you save more and pay less in the end.
What is an instalment amount?
Energy suppliers work with monthly instalments based on averages. The energy supplier makes an estimate of the energy consumption in your household, based on the average of comparable family structures and living situations. This determines how high your monthly costs are. Do you expect to consume more than the supplier predicts? In that case, you can pay more, so that you do not have to pay that much extra after receiving the annual invoice. Do you expect to consume less? Then you can also pay less.
Please note: estimate your instalment amount incorrectly and you may encounter unpleasant surprises. Is your estimate more or less accurate? Then you may even get money back.
10 saving tips
Now that we know what we can't influence, we also know what we can influence. There are numerous ways in which you can make better use of energy. This is our DIY Top 10:
Make sure you have a good central heating system and a suitable thermostat. With regular maintenance, you are not only assured of optimal comfort, but of more savings as well. Have your central heating system checked annually by an installer for optimum efficiency.
Insulate your home well and apply draught protection to doors and windows.
Prevent rising heat from escaping by closing intermediate doors or making spaces smaller with curtains or other barriers.
Does your house have many windows or are your windows very large? Invest in proper curtains and close them in the evening. This way you keep the heat inside.
Invest in household appliances with an energy-efficient label. Is the device not in use for a while? Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet. Standby mode also consumes energy.
Most smartphones or tablets now indicate when they are sufficiently charged, so it's better to charge them during the day so you can remove them from the charger in time. Unplug chargers and adaptors that are not in use. Older chargers in particular consume a great deal of energy.
Preferable cook on gas rather than electricity. A gas stove is more controllable. When it's on you have instant, faster heat and when it's off it doesn't take long before it cools down. The losses are therefore lower.
Only do the laundry when you can fully load your washing machine, and wash at a lower temperature. Almost all modern washing machines clean at 30 degrees, meaning that you need to heat less water. Is your washing machine a little older? A modern energy-efficient washing machine consumes about 20% less electricity than an 8-year-old model. It may therefore be worth considering purchasing a new one.
Replace all light bulbs in your home with low-energy LED bulbs and automate them so that when you're not in a room, the lights turn off automatically.
Secretly, we have many screens in our home. PCs, laptops, televisions, as well as tablets and smartphones: they all have displays and most of these devices allow you to set up an energy-saving operation. Do you watch digital TV? Then pay attention to the decoder, as it can consume a lot of power. Especially if it is always on.
Want to know more?
The above DIY Top 10 mainly includes items you have to set up or keep track of yourself. But you can also save energy with Smart Home products. Would you like to know more about smarter heating and energy savings with Smart Home? Then visit our Heating & Energy page. Can we help you in any way? Or would you like help with the installation of your product(s)? Send us a message or call us. We are always prepared to help you.
Energy efficiency ratings are fast becoming a deciding factor when purchasing a new home. Your potential new home (and current, if you’re looking to sell) should be well insulated and produce a low, if-not zero, carbon footprint.