Breakdown of an electricity bill


Javascript is required to render chart Breakdown of an electricity bill.

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements.

Information correct as of: June 2017

This chart shows an estimate of the different costs that make up an average electricity bill for a typical domestic customer of five of the six large suppliers. It is based on reported data from the five suppliers’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements (financial year ending Dec 2016). We will update the chart later in the summer when SSE’s data becomes available.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for information on our methodology.

For information on supplier prices and profits, please see our page Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets

Data Table

Breakdown of an electricity bill
Annual costPercentage
Wholesale costs35.98%
Network costs27.63%
Environmental and social obligation costs14.89%
Other direct costs1.20%
Operating costs17.27%
Supplier pre-tax margin-1.72%

More Information


To estimate the breakdown of an average electricity bill, we:

  1. Took the sum of each category of cost (e.g. wholesale, network etc) and the pre-tax supply margin reported by the suppliers for electricity.
  2. Divided the electricity sum by the total number of customers and added VAT at 5%.

Please note that chart calculations are drawn from suppliers’ reported total costs and total customer numbers, irrespective of tariff type. The chart will therefore reflect a mixture of the costs to supply dual fuel and single fuel customers. As such, the bill breakdown is an approximation – values may differ, for example, if electricity-only customers use more electricity than those customers who are also supplied with gas.

The data presented is based on the latest available Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS). It may differ from the data in the suppliers externally published CSS. This is because we have made some adjustments to the way exceptional items are reported to improve comparability.

Figures relate to the suppliers’ financial years. Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December, whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March. SSE figures have therefore not been included since it has not yet published it CSS. We will update the chart after publication.

Date correct
June 2017
Policy area