Key terms and issues explained

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On this page you will find a range of key terms explained for business energy. Please click on a letter below to be taken to a list of terms and on "show" to read the explanation.

Paperless tariff/discount

Where a customer receives all communications electronically.

Parent supplier

A supplier that owns enough stock in another supplier to have control of management and operations of that supplier.

Payment method

A method by which a consumer pays for energy. Payment methods are classified into three main categories: direct debit, standard credit and prepayment.

Personal projection

This is based on your actual consumption and is a projection of your future yearly charge. You could compare the personal projection for your current tariff with a personal projection given to you for an alternative tariff by your current supplier, an alternative supplier or a switching site.


A method of payment where consumers pay for credit to their account. Their meter deducts credit from the account based on the amount of energy used by the consumer and the rates that apply to the consumer’s tariff.

Price comparison metric

A figure that can be used to compare the cost of the tariff you are on against alternative tariffs from your own or other suppliers. Also called the Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR). The TCR is calculated as the estimated yearly bill, divided by the amount of energy used each year by a typical low, medium or high user of electricity. The TCR takes account of any standing charge and the unit rate(s) that make up the tariff. The TCR is not based on your personal consumption and should be used as a guide only.

Price Increase Notification (PIN)

If a supplier increases the price of a tariff or varies any term which could cause disadvantage to the consumer, then under our licence obligations it must notify the consumer at least 30 days in advance of the date on which the price increase (or other variation) takes effect.

Principal terms

The most important terms of a supply contract, including the charges, duration, amount of any termination fees and any terms which may reasonably be considered to significantly affect the evaluation by the consumer of the contract under which they are supplied with energy.