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Standing Charges


Standing charges appear on most gas and electricity bills.

Charged by your energy supplier, they are a a fixed daily amount you have to pay, regardless of how little or how much energy you use.

But exactly how much are they, and do you always have to pay?

What is a standing charge?

A standing charge is a fixed daily charge that you pay your energy supplier used to cover costs your energy supplier pays to connect your gas and/or electricity to your home. Even if you have days where you use no energy, you will still have to pay this daily charge.

This charge will appear on your monthly bill and normally be listed as a ‘daily unit rate’. 

Standing charge rates differ from one energy supplier to another, and can fluctuate over time depending on several factors, including the energy price cap.

What am I paying for with a standing charge?

Your standing charge is designed to cover various costs paid by your energy supplier. These include:-

  • Access to, use of, and maintaining the energy network, wires, and pipes that carry gas and electricity across the country and to your home.
  • Keeping your home connected to the grid.
  • Carrying out meter readings
  • Payments made towards government initiatives that help vulnerable households

How much are standing charges?

As of May 2024, the average daily standing charge for customers on the Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) is 60.10p for electricity and 31.43p for gas. This is based on the average across England, Scotland, and Wales and includes VAT.

Standing charges will continue to change every quarter in line with the energy price cap.

Are there any energy suppliers that have no standing charges?

Utilita is currently the only energy supplier that does not have any standing charges, meaning you won't have to pay anything if you don't use any energy. A zero standing charge will still be shown on your bill, but, it will be displayed as £0. 

While this may sound like an attractive option, bear in mind that you may end up paying more overall, as your supplier charges more in order to offset money lost by not imposing a standing charge.

Do smart meters show standing charges?

Yes. If you have a smart meter, your standing charge will appear on your smart energy monitor display whether you’re using electricity that day or not. The monitor works together with your smart meter to show your energy usage daily, weekly and monthly. 

If you’re on a prepayment meter, you’ll still have to pay a daily standing charge even if you don’t have credit on your account. The standing charge owed will be taken from the amount you top up with.

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