Frequently asked questions

  • How do I read my smart meter?
  • How do I read my meter?
  • What are seasonal payments and how are they calculated?
  • Can I change my supply start date?
  • I'm moving out, what do you need to know?
  • When is my first payment taken?
  • Can I get a smart meter?
  • Your energy statement explained
How do I read my smart meter?

Start by making sure you're looking at your smart meter on the wall and not an in-home display

Side by side pictures comparing a smart meter with an in-home display with a green tick on the smart meter

If you think your smart meter isn't shown below, please send us a clear photograph showing the entire front of your meter. We'll find out how to read your meter and we can add your meter type to our guide.

Once you can read your meter, submitting readings regularly will keep you on top of your energy. You can set up email reminders.


Electricity smart meters

To find your electricity read you're looking for a number followed by "KWH" (but remembering to ignore the numbers after the decimal place).


If you have a keypad

Electricity smart meter with keypad example

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press 9 on the keypad.
  2. A series of letters will appear: IMP KWH.
  3. Then you’ll see 8 digits (e.g. 0012565.3) followed by kWh at the bottom right of the screen.
  4. This is your read, so in this case your reading would be 12565.

If you have an Economy 7 smart meter (your meter records day and night usage):

  1. Press 6 on the keypad until you see 'IMP R01' followed by 8 digits - this is usually your night/off-peak reading.
  2. Then keep on pressing 6 on the keypad until you see 'IMP R02' followed by 8 digits - this is usually your peak/normal reading.
  3. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.


If you have two buttons

Two button electricity smart meter example

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the "Display" or "Display Select" button.
  2. By pressing the button the meter display will scroll through to the meter reading. The number you're after is the one followed by kWh.
  3. As before write down all the digits, ignoring any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  4. In this example the meter reading is 23541.


If you have A and B buttons

Electricity smart meter with A B buttons example

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the A button.
  2. Keep on pressing this until you get to TOTAL ACT IMPORT.
  3. The number shown below this is your meter reading.
  4. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  5. In this example the meter reading is 11256.


If you have 3 buttons

Example of a smart meter with three grey buttons

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the middle button.
  2. The number shown below IMP is your meter reading.
  3. If you have a 2-rate meter, R1 indicates Rate 1, R2 is Rate 2 and T is total.
  4. You can press the middle button again to see all the readings.
  5. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  6. In this example the meter reading is 23541.


If you have an orange button on the left and blue buttons on the right

Orange and blue electricity meter example

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the orange button.
  2. You'll see a row of digits followed by kWh.
  3. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  4. The reading in this example is 12565.


Gas smart meters

To find your gas read you're looking for the number followed by "M3" (but remembering to ignore the numbers after the decimal place).


If you have a keypad

Gas smart meter example with a keypad next to the display 

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press 9 on the keypad.
  2. VOLUME will appear on the screen.
  3. Then you’ll see a row of digits (e.g. 00063.5) followed by M3 at the bottom right of the screen.
  4. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  5. The read in this example is 00063.


If you have A and B buttons

Gas smart meter with A B buttons example

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the A button.
  2. Keep on pressing this until you get to METER INDEX.
  3. The number shown below this is your meter reading.
  4. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  5. In this example the meter reading is 63.


If you have a left arrow, a circle and a right arrow

Gas smart meter with a left arrow, a circle and a right arrow under the meter display

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the middle 'circle' button.
  2. The screen will show 'current meter reading' written along the top.
  3. You'll see a row of digits followed by m3.
  4. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  5. The read in this example is 63.


If you have 3 square red buttons

Gas smart meter example with three red buttons

or

Gas Smart meter example with three red buttons labelled A, B and C

Your buttons may or may not be labelled A, B and C. To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the 'A' or left button.
  2. You'll see a row of digits followed by m3.
  3. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  4. The read in this example is 135.


If you have an orange and a blue arrow to the right of the screen

Orange and blue gas meter example

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the orange button.
  2. You'll see a row of digits followed by m3.
  3. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  4. In this example the meter reading is 135.


If you have two white buttons to the right of your display. Your buttons might have arrows and other markings around them.

Gas smart meter example with two white buttons.

To get a reading from these smart meters:

  1. Press the right button. This might be labelled 'OK'.
  2. The display should wake up and you'll see a row of digits followed by m3.
  3. Ignore any digits after a decimal point if you have one. We only require the whole numbers.
  4. In this example the meter reading is 135.
Read more
How do I read my meter?

Meters come in many different shapes and sizes, and each one is read differently. Just to complicate things further, your electricity and gas meters record your usage in different units (electricity in kWh, and gas in m3 or ft3).

We’ve compiled a list to help you work out which type of meter you have and how to read it. If you've got a smart meter try our guide How to read your smart meter.

Once you know how to read your meter, making sure you do so regularly keeps you on top of your energy. You can set up email reminders online.

Does your electricity meter look like any of these?

Single rate meter

Digital:An illustration of a single rate electric meter

Analogue

An illustration of a single rate meter with an analogue display, the final digit is half way between 9 and 0

  • If so, write down all the numbers from left to right including any zeros. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point or which may be shown in red.
  • The reading for the above meter is 07220

Two rate meter

An illustration of an electric two rate meter with two displays

  • If you have a 2-rate meter, that means the meter records how much energy you use during you the day and night time.
  • The row marked 'LOW', 'L' or 'NIGHT') shows how many units of off-peak electricity you have used.
  • The row marked 'NORMAL', 'N' or 'DAY') shows how many units of peak electricity you have used.
  • Write down all the numbers from left to right including any zeros. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point or which may be shown in red.
  • The reading for the above meter is 556315 & 217457.

Dial meter

An illustration of an electric dial meter showing 6 clock faces, the sixth clock face is greyed out

  • Each dial turns in the opposite direction to the one before it, so check which way each dial turns. Read the dials from left to right, ignoring the dial marked 1/10.
  • Write down the number that the pointer has just passed e.g. if the pointer is between 2 and 3 write down 2.
  • The reading for the above meter is 26929.

Does your gas meter resemble any of these?

Gas imperial meter

An illustration of a gas imperial meter

  • Write down all the numbers from left to right including any zeros. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point or which may be shown in red.
  • The reading for the above meter is 2988.

Dial meter

An illustration of a gas dial meter

  • Each dial turns in the opposite direction to the one before it, so check which way each turns.
  • Read the dials from left to right.
  • Write down the number that the pointer has just passed e.g. if the pointer is between 2 and 3 write down 2.
  • The reading for the above meter is 2692.

Gas metric meter

An illustration of a gas metric meter, with cubed meters sign next to the display

  • Write down all the numbers from left to right including any zeros. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point or which may be shown in red.
  • The reading for the above meter is 75793.


 

Read more
What are seasonal payments and how are they calculated?

We understand that you may not use your energy evenly throughout the year, so paying an equal amount each month doesn't suit everyone.

That's why we offer the option to pay a different amount during summer months and winter months, so you pay more when your usage is higher and less when your usage is lower.

We also have a guide to making Equal Direct Debit Payments. You can switch to equal Direct Debit payments through your online account at any time. 

How we calculate summer and winter payment amounts

Firstly, we calculate your estimated annual energy cost and divide this by 12, giving your average monthly payment amount. We then adjust this for the time of year, reducing your average payment by 25% during the summer months and increasing it by 25% for the winter.

Your summer payments are taken between April and September and your winter payments between October and March.

Whether you pay by equal monthly instalments or by a seasonally adjusted amounts, you'll pay exactly the same amount over the course of 12 months.

Your estimated annual usage is based on all the information you provided to us during your quote process. The most accurate way to estimate your costs is using annual kWh figures (these can be found on your energy bills), but if you don't know this or have them to hand, we can help you estimate your annual cost by looking at the tariff you are currently on and how much you are paying, or by selecting either the 'basic estimate' or 'detailed estimate' options.

Graph showing the distribution of summer and winter payments against actual monthly usage.

In the above example we expect to spend £600 during the course of the next 12 months based on the information provided. This means that an average payment amount is £50 per month (£600 / 12 months = £50).

Summer payments are calculated by reducing this by 25%, in this case: £50 x 75% = £37.50.
The winter payments are calculated in a similar way by increasing the average payment by 25%: £50 x 125% = £62.50.

Adding up all the payments over the course of the year: 6 x Summer Payment (£37.50) + 6 x Winter Payment (£62.50) = £600, the same as if you paid equally through the year. 

What this means for your Account Balance

As we take payment in advance of your usage, we expect your account to remain in credit for most of the year. However, if you are paying seasonally adjusted amounts, we would expect the fluctuation of your account balance throughout the year to be less than if you paid equal amounts each month. Those paying an equal amount each month could expect to see a much bigger credit towards the end of summer, and a much bigger debit towards the end of winter.

During your first month, your account will be in credit because we've taken your first Direct Debit but we haven't produced your first statement yet. Your next month's Account Balance will be calculated as follows: the Account Balance from the previous period (i.e. your first payment) - your charges for the month before + plus your next month's advance payment.

Graph showing an example user's monthly account credit


In the example above, the January Account Balance is the winter payment amount (£62.50). The February Account Balance is the previous month's Account Balance (£62.50) - January energy charges (£71) + February advance payment (£62.50) = £54 CR.

Switching from equal to seasonal Direct Debit payments

You can switch from equal to seasonal Direct Debit payments or vice versa. We simply require at least 7 days' notice before your scheduled payment date. We may also require you to make a top-up payment if your switch will result in an overall shortfall in payments, or if your account is in debit. You can change your payment plan via your online account.

 

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Can I change my supply start date?

I want my switch to happen later

Once you’ve signed up and your switch has started, the switch will take 21 days and unfortunately we can't delay this for you. 

If you are concerned you will be charged an early exit fee by your current supplier, it is worth noting that fees cannot be charged if you’re in the last 42-49 days of your contract. See our section on Exit Fees for more information.

If you still want to delay your start date you will need to cancel your switch, which you can do through your online account, and then reapply again in the future (at least 21 days before your preferred supply start date). You can only cancel your switch within your 14-day cooling off period. After your cooling off period, industry processes are underway and the switch cannot be stopped. 

If you do cancel your switch, please note that the one tariff we have on offer at any time is subject to change, so we cannot guarantee that the same tariff will be available if you try to switch again in the future.

I want my switch to happen sooner

Once you’ve signed up and your switch has started, the switch will take 21 days and unfortunately we can't speed this up for you. 

If you have recently moved into your house and wanted us to supply you from the start, unfortunately we still can't speed up the switch and you will have a different supplier for a short time. To find out who this is, please ask your Network Operator. You can find out who to call by entering your postcode here

If you wanted to bring your switch forward because your current supplier's contract is due to end soon, unfortunately we still can't speed up the switch. Your current supplier will continue to supply you with energy after their contract ends, your energy won't be turned off! Usually a supplier will charge you on their standard variable tariff, however we would advise you contact your current supplier to find out the rates that will apply during this time.

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I'm moving out, what do you need to know?

If you'd like So Energy to supply your new home, please see our FAQ - I'm moving out, can So Energy supply my new property?

If you're ending your 12 month fixed contract early and we haven't sent you an email informing you that your tariff is coming to an end, you will be subject to early exit fees.

We'll need to know the following from you:

  1. The last date you are responsible for the property (sale completion date or last date of tenancy as agreed with your landlord or letting agency)
  2. Your forwarding address.
  3. If you know who's moving in or who will responsible for the property once you've moved out. Landlord or letting agent details are also helpful. 
  4. Your closing readings (on your move out date). It's a good idea to take pictures of these for your records and agree them with your landlord, letting agency, or the new owners. 
Please email this to help@so.energy or give us a call on 0330 111 5050 (lines open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm).


Remember not to cancel your Direct Debit

We take payments and issue refunds via Direct Debit so please do not cancel this until your final balance has been settled. Only once this has been completed should you cancel your Direct Direct with us.

If you have cancelled your Direct Debit please get in touch as soon as possible to get this re-instated otherwise you may be subject to a missed payment fee (set out in our Terms and Conditions).

We know moving house is a busy time, so we're trying to make it as pain free as possible. Send us an email help@so.energy or give us a call on 0330 111 5050, and we'll talk you through it.

 


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When is my first payment taken?

When you switch to So Energy, we will take your first Direct Debit payment on or around the date that your energy supply starts (Supply Start Date) and further monthly payments will be taken on the same date each month. When your payment date falls on a weekend or bank holiday the money will come out of your bank account a couple of days after this date.

After a month of you being on supply, we will send you your energy statement 2-5 days after your billing period has finished detailing your usage for that month. We will only charge you for what you use, so the more meter readings you provide us with the more accurate your statement will be. If you'd like your statement to finish on your reading each month rather than our estimate you need to submit your reading on the last day of your billing period. For example, if your Supply Start Date is 23rd March, then you should submit your readings on the 22nd of each month as this is the last date of each billing period.

Timeline chart showing the first month payments. The graph shows 2 payments, one on the supply start date and the second is 2-5 days before the first bill

Why we take payment in advance

By taking payment in advance, we are able to buy your gas and electricity in advance at better rates and we then pass these savings on to you. That's part of the reason why our prices are much more competitive than other suppliers. Having credit in your account also means you should have a bit of buffer for winter time, when most peoples' energy usage tends to be much higher, reducing your risk of falling into energy debt.



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Can I get a smart meter?

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters measure the energy you use every half-hour and sends your meter readings straight to your supplier. They also show you how much energy you are using in pounds and pence, in near real time and bring an end to estimated bills.

IHDs (In-home displays)

These are small handheld electrical devices that communicate directly your smart meter, providing an hourly, weekly or monthly view of your energy usage. These devises make it much more convenient to keep on top of your energy costs instead of hunting in a dark cupboard to check your meter.

Can I get a smart meter?

Unfortunately, we're not yet installing Smart meters for our customers. The infrastructure for Smart meters is currently being implemented and believe our customers will be better served if we are to wait until it has been fully completed.

We're very excited about Smart meters and if you're keen on being one of our first customers to get hold of one of these then make sure you've ticked the box "Hear about rewards and updates from So Energy" under your account details, so we can keep you informed as and when we start installing them. 



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Your energy statement explained

We know energy statements & bills can be a little confusing so we've highlighted areas that may be of interest and explained how we've calculated things. 

If you do have problems or anything isn't clear, just send us an email at help@so.energy or call us on 0330 111 5050 (We're open Monday to Friday, 9am till 5pm).







Fixed monthly Direct Debit statement

Below is an example of a So Energy gas and electricity statement, paid by fixed monthly Direct Debit.

Fixed monthly direct debit statement example with parts of the bill numbered from 1 to 11

1. This is your Account Number and Bill Reference Number. If you need to talk to us about your statement, it's useful having these to hand.

2. The primary account holder's name is the only name which will appear on statements. If you have any additional names on your account these will not be shown on your statement.

3. The billing address is shown on the front of the statement. If you have a different supply address and billing address, you can find the supply address on page 2 of your statement.

4. This is your billing period, i.e. when your statement runs from and to. If you'd like your statement to end on your reading rather than our estimate, submit your monthly meter reading on (or around) your billing end date. 

5. This is your Account Balance from your previous statement (if it's your first energy statement from us, this will show £0.00).

6. We'll list any payments received or account credits or debits applied to your account since you last statement was produced. Please bear in mind that payments or debits/credits applied outside of the billing period may be shown as we always provide a most up-to-date statement of your account at the time the statement is produced. Any payments/credits will have a (CR) next to them, whilst any account charges/debits will not. Please see below regarding Revised bills.

7. Your Balance Brought Forward is calculated by adding Balance at your last statement and any payments (or other adjustments) made (so in this example, CR £91.73 + CR £73.00 = CR £164.73).

8. All energy usage charges applied during this billing period. A breakdown of these charges is shown on page 2 of the energy statement.

9. This is calculated by adding any Balance Brought Forward and the New charges included in this statement (in this example, CR £164.73 + £36.24 = CR £128.49).

10. This is your estimated energy costs for the next 12 months. It assumes you do not change or renew your energy tariff over this 12 month period which may include charges based on our So Out of Contract, variable tariff. The forecast usage is based on information held by the energy industry about your property (shown on point 15). Your actual energy cost will depend on your usage. For more information about this and how it's calculated see: Estimated Annual Cost.

11. Each month we compare the tariff you're already on against the latest fixed tariff we have on offer and we'll let you know if you're already on the cheapest tariff for you. If there are savings to be made by switching tariff, we'll let you know how much you could save over the next 12 months by doing so. Projected savings are calculated by comparing your Estimated Annual Cost (for each fuel) against the forecast costs if you were to move onto our latest fixed tariff. If you're coming towards the end of your fixed contract, we will double check these savings by comparing the unit rates and standing charges of each tariff, to make sure that switching tariffs is the best option for you. For more information see: Could you pay less.


Revised bills
If there is an Revised bill line in section 6, this is because we've had to reissue your energy statement. We reverse the charges made on the incorrect statement previously issued for the same billing period. You will not be charged twice for the same energy. The most common reason for revising statements is if an incorrect reading had been used to calculate your energy charges (e.g. if we've disputed your opening / final read) and we've gone back and corrected thisso we can provide you with an accurate statement.

If you login to your online account, in the Bills and Statements section you will see a table showing all payments made (credits) and all the charges based on your energy usage (debits).

Please note, for statements that have been revised, we only show the most up to date version of each statement for each billing period on your online account.

Revised statement example, parts of the bill are numbered 12 to 17

12. This is your supply number or S-Number, it is a unique 21-digit reference used to identify your electricity supply point. The bottom 13-digits is known as your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number).

13. This section shows your supply address (this may be different to your billing address if this is not your primary residence), along with your tariff name and the exact period you have been charged in this statement.

14. This is your M-Number or MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number). It is a unique reference used to identify your gas supply point and can be between 6 and 10 digits long.

15. This is your estimated annual energy usage provided to us by the energy industry. It is based on your meter readings. The more readings you give, the more accurate this will be. See How am I charged for my energy for more information.

16. This is how we convert your gas units to kWh.

17. This states all charges included in the billing period as well as VAT. This matches the 'New charges included in this statement' shown on page 1.

Page 2 of a revised statement example, parts of the bill are numbered from 18 to 21

18.This section provides details of where you can find more information through our website, and how to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

19. This is an average daily usage, for your reference. This is calculated by taking the total usage for the statement period and dividing this by the number of days, so in this example daily electricity usage is 118.6kWh divided by 28 days = 4 kWh/day (rounded to the nearest whole kWh).

20. This sets out what to do if you're unhappy with the service that we're offering.

21. If you'd like to know what we're getting up to, check out our blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.





Pay on receipt of bill

for So Out of Contract customers

Below is an example of a typical So Energy gas & electricity statement, paid on receipt of bill.

A gas and electricity statement, paid on receipt of bill, parts of the bill are numbered 1 and 2

1.This is the total charges due. See page 2 for a breakdown of the charges.

2.This is the date when payment is due. If there is a Direct Debit in place, this is the date on which payment is due to be collected. If this date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, payment will be taken by Direct Debit on the next available banking day, never before the date shown on your statement.





Final Bills

Below is an example of a typical So Energy gas and electricity final bill.

Example of a final bill, parts of the bill are numbered 1 to 3

1. These are the charges included in your final bill.

2. This is the total charges due. See page 2 for a breakdown of the charges for this billing period, including the dates and closing readings used to create your final bill, and any exit fees if these apply. If you've switched away from us these reads have been provided by your new supplier and will match the opening readings they are using. If you didn't provide them or they haven't given us the readings you've given to them, then this will be shown as a Closing Estimate, whilst an actual reading will show as Closing Read. If you disagree with a closing reading we've used then please get in touch with your new supplier first.

3. This is the date when payment is due. If there is a Direct Debit in place, this is the date when payment is scheduled to be collected. If this date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, payment will be taken on the next available banking day, never before the date shown on your bill. If you're moving home and taking us with you, we won't collect the outstanding balance, instead we'll automatically transfer the full balance over to your new property.

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