Are there any energy suppliers with No standing charge?

Navigating the maze of energy billing can often lead to a plethora of terms that might seem alien to the everyday consumer. One such term, the 'Standing Charge,' plays a pivotal role in how much you pay on your energy bill, yet remains shrouded in ambiguity for many. This guide aims to pull back the veil on standing charges, offering a clear, comprehensible insight into what they are, how they are determined, and the impact they bear on your daily energy expenses.

Through the lens of this guide, you will traverse the intricacies of standing charges, empowering you with the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding your energy consumption and potentially unveiling avenues to optimize your energy expenditures. Whether you are a homeowner, a renter, or someone with an eye on the energy sector, understanding standing charges is a step towards a more transparent and manageable energy bill. So, as we unravel the enigma of standing charges, we invite you to engage, learn, and take charge of your energy consumption narrative.

What are standing charges?

Standing charges are a fixed cost on your energy bills, aside from the cost of the gas and electricity you actually use. This daily charge stays the same no matter how much energy you consume. Each day, whether you use energy or not, the standing charge is applied, making it a basic part of your energy bill.

The main purpose of standing charges is to cover the operational costs faced by energy suppliers. These costs include maintaining the infrastructure that brings gas and electricity to your home, meter readings, and providing a supply connection to your home. In simple terms, the standing charge covers the basic costs of keeping your home connected to the energy network, ensuring you have access to energy whenever you need it.

A similar concept to standing charges is the line rental for a telephone. Just like how the line rental covers the cost of keeping your phone line active and ready for use, the standing charge covers the basic costs of maintaining your energy connection. It’s like a subscription fee, ensuring the service is available to you as and when you need it.

Understanding standing charges is key to decoding your energy bill and making an informed decision when comparing energy tariffs or suppliers. As we delve deeper in the following sections, we’ll explore how standing charges are calculated and how they can vary, providing a clearer picture of how they contribute to your overall energy costs.

Which energy suppliers offer the cheapest standing charges?

For a more comprehensive array of energy tariffs to help keep your energy bills low, you can also look at some of the energy tariffs shown below which offer the lowest possible standing charge rates in the market. Here we show you the daily standing charge and what it equates to per year for both your gas and electricity.

Remember, doing a full energy comparison is the best way to get an accurate view of what you will be paying with a potential new supplier.

Cheapest Standing Charge Electricity Tariffs

Below is a list of energy suppliers that offer the cheapest daily standing charges on their electricity tariffs.

Supplier Tariff Standing Charge (Daily) Standing Charge (Yearly)

For comparison purposes, energy prices shown above are based on the London region ONLY. Prices may vary depending on the region you live in. To see the best deals for where you are, run a comparison using our Ofgem approved energy switching tool.

Cheapest Standing Charge Gas Tariffs

Below is a list of energy suppliers that offer the cheapest daily standing charges on their gas tariffs.

Supplier Tariff Standing Charge (Daily) Standing Charge (Yearly)

For comparison purposes, energy prices shown above are based on the London region ONLY. Prices may vary depending on the region you live in. To see the best deals for where you are, run a comparison using our Ofgem approved energy switching tool.

Regional Variance in Standing Charges

Standing charges on your energy bills can vary depending on the region you reside in. This regional variance is primarily due to the differing costs associated with delivering energy services across various geographical locations. Here's a closer look at the factors contributing to the regional variance in standing charges:

  • Infrastructure Complexity: The complexity of the energy infrastructure in different regions plays a significant role in determining the standing charges. Regions with more complex or extensive infrastructure may have higher standing charges due to the increased costs of maintenance and operation.
  • Distance from Energy Sources: The further a region is from energy generation sources, the higher the cost of transmitting gas and electricity to homes in that region. This can result in higher standing charges for consumers living in remote or rural areas.
  • Population Density: In densely populated areas, the cost of maintaining the energy infrastructure is spread out over a larger number of consumers, potentially leading to lower standing charges. Conversely, in less populated areas, the costs are spread out over fewer consumers, which may result in higher standing charges.
  • Local Regulations and Taxes: Local government regulations and taxes can also impact the standing charges. Regions with higher regulatory compliance costs or taxes may pass these costs on to consumers through higher standing charges.
  • Supplier Competition: Areas with more competition among energy suppliers might have lower standing charges as suppliers vie for consumer preference by offering more attractive rates.

Understanding the regional variance in standing charges can provide a clearer insight into your energy bills and may also inform your decisions if you are considering moving or changing your energy supplier. Being informed about how these factors influence standing charges in your region can also help you in comparing and selecting the most cost-effective energy tariffs available to you.

What is the average electricity standing charge across the UK?

The average standing charge for electricity is 53.35p per day across the UK.

Use the table below to compare your daily standing charge for electricity, to the average cost per region:

Region Average Electricity Standing Charge (p/day)
London 38.50p
South East 47.56p
Eastern 44.00p
Southern 49.97p
Southern Western 58.68p
N Wales and Mersey 62.21p
South Wales 54.21p
Midlands 54.36p
East Midlands 50.69p
Yorkshire 56.00p
North West 51.80p
Northern 57.44p
Southern Scotland 62.08p
Northern Scotland 59.38p

Standing Charges and Unit Rates based on Ofgem's Price Cap from 1st January 2024


What is the average gas standing charge in the UK?

The standing charge for gas in all regions is 29.60p per day. Standing Charges based on Ofgem's Price Cap from 1st January 2024.

How to Check Your Standing Charge

Being aware of the standing charges on your energy bill is crucial for a clear understanding of your overall energy costs. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can check your standing charge:

  1. Review Your Energy Bill: Your standing charge will be listed on your monthly or quarterly energy bill. It's usually indicated as a 'daily standing charge' or 'daily unit rate'. Look for this information in the breakdown of charges on your bill.
  2. Contact Your Supplier: If you're unable to find the information on your bill, or if you have any doubts, contact your energy supplier. They can provide you with the details of your standing charge and explain how it's calculated.
  3. Online Account: If you have an online account with your energy supplier, you can log in to view your bills and standing charges. This information is often listed in the billing section of your account.
  4. Use Comparison Websites: Energy comparison websites such as The Energy Shop, can provide a general idea of the standing charges offered by different suppliers in your region. While this may not give you the exact amount of your standing charge, it can provide a useful comparison.
  5. Ask for a Breakdown: Request a detailed breakdown of your standing charge from your supplier. They should be able to provide an itemized list of what costs are covered by your standing charge.

Understanding your standing charge is a step towards managing your energy costs more effectively. It can also be beneficial when comparing different tariffs or suppliers, helping you to choose the most cost-effective option for your energy supply.

Standing Charges Across Different Meter Types

Understanding the application of standing charges across various meter types is crucial as it affects your total energy bill. The common meters include smart meters, prepayment meters, and standard meters. Here’s how standing charges apply to each:

Smart Meters

  1. Standing Charge Application: Smart meters still incur standing charges, which cover the cost of maintaining your energy supply.
  2. Potential Reduction: However, the administrative ease of smart meters could potentially lead to lower standing charges due to less manual intervention in reading and monitoring energy usage.
  3. Visibility: Smart meters provide real-time data on energy consumption and standing charges, making it easier for consumers to understand their daily charges.

Prepayment Meters

  1. Standing Charge Application: Just like with other meter types, standing charges apply to prepayment meters.
  2. Accrual of Charges: If you don't top up your prepayment meter, standing charges will continue to accrue and will be deducted from your next top-up.
  3. Potential Higher Charges: Often, prepayment meters might have higher standing charges due to the additional administrative work involved in managing such accounts.

Standard Meters

  1. Standing Charge Application: Standard meters have standing charges that contribute towards the maintenance of the energy supply infrastructure.
  2. Manual Readings: Unlike smart meters, standard meters require manual readings, which could contribute to maintaining or sometimes increasing the standing charge due to administrative costs.

FAQs

1. What is the standing charge actually for?

The standing charge covers the cost of delivering energy to your home and maintaining the necessary infrastructure.

2. How do you avoid standing charges?

It's challenging to avoid standing charges unless you opt for a supplier that offers a zero standing charge tariff. However, these tariffs may have higher unit rates for energy usage.

3. Why is the standing charge so high?

The level of standing charge reflects the costs incurred by the supplier in delivering and maintaining energy services. It may vary based on location and the supplier's operational costs.

4. Is standing charge a rip off?

Standing charges are a standard practice in the energy industry to cover service delivery costs. They ensure that energy supply infrastructure is maintained and reliable.

5. What is the maximum standing charge in the UK?

The maximum standing charge can vary, but regulatory bodies like Ofgem work to ensure fairness in energy pricing.

6. Does the price on my smart meter include standing charge?

Yes, the price displayed on your smart meter typically includes the standing charge.

7. Which energy supplier has no standing charge?

Some suppliers like Utilita offer tariffs with no standing charges, but these may have higher unit rates for energy usage.

8. Why does the price change?

The price of the standing charge can change due to various factors such as alterations in the cost to the energy company of maintaining the supply to your home, commercial decisions made by the supplier to gain a competitive advantage, or changes in the market like covering the cost of failed energy suppliers, expanding certain schemes, and energy network charging reforms.

Conclusion

In this guide, we've unravelled the concept of standing charges on your energy bills, explaining their significance and impact on your daily energy costs. We've covered what standing charges are, why they exist, how they are calculated, and how they vary across different regions and meter types. We've also explored scenarios where avoiding or reducing standing charges might be possible and answered some frequently asked questions regarding standing charges.

Understanding the structure of your energy bills, including the standing charge, can empower you to make informed decisions and potentially save on your energy costs. If you're keen on diving deeper into how you can optimise your energy expenses or learn more about the energy sector, feel free to explore our other related guides.

Ready to find a better deal on your energy? Use our comparison tool to discover and switch to a more cost-effective energy tariff that suits your needs.

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