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What does it take to read your energy bill? Just a GCSE in maths

It's official – you need a qualification in maths to understand your household energy bill. Education experts from examining board Edexcel assessed copies of bills from each of the big six suppliers and found that, due to complexity of information and lack of explanation, homeowners would need a higher grade in GCSE maths to get to grips with their bills.

Many consumers find themselves frustrated by overly complicated bills, according to a recent survey by uSwitch. The comparison and switching site found 75 per cent of people find their bills confusing and over half (57 per cent) struggle to understand how they are calculated.

The chair and head of mathematics at Edexcel said that much of the difficulty lies in the calculation of the bill, which is often spread over several pages and is awkward to link together. Also, most bills include two rates, and units used for charging on the bill are not those recorded on the meter. Without a clear understanding, consumers risk being overcharged and cannot check they are on the right energy plan.

"There is a pressing need for the industry to take action to make energy bills simpler," says Ann Robinson of uSwitch.