In Q2 2019, the average standard variable tariff (‘SVT’) price for a domestic customer with one of the thirteen larger suppliers to customers on direct debit payment methods ranged between £1,000 and £1,254. This period coincided with the second default tariff cap period. The average SVT prices of eleven of the thirteen suppliers were within £6 of the cap level, set at £1,254 in this period.
In this period, British Gas and npower offered a fixed term default tariff. These were priced at a similar level to their SVTs.
The average cheapest deals in this period were all above the average market cheapest tariff of £880, ranging between £954 and £1,221. The average SVT price differentials in the period were between £33 and £298 relative to these suppliers' cheapest tariffs. The SVT price differentials were between £120 and £375 relative to the market cheapest tariff.
For an overview of the SVT and price trends over time see our chart on the Retail price comparison by company and tariff type.
Relevance and further information
This chart measures the savings available to customers on default tariffs if they change tariff or switch supplier.
It should be considered jointly with our charts on the Number of domestic gas customer accounts by supplier (excluding prepayment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB) and the Number of domestic electricity customer accounts by supplier (excluding prepayment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)
Our data shows default tariffs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. Customers on default tariffs are potentially missing out on significant savings on their bills compared to cheaper tariffs from their existing or another supplier.
For previous updates, please see our page here.
- We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical medium domestic consumer’. As of October 2017, typical consumption values for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 3,100kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). All tariffs shown in the chart are for a dual fuel, direct debit customer.
- We use weekly prices across the quarter prior to publication to calculate the average SVT price. We take the price data for each Monday of every week in the analysed period. The source is Energyhelpline for SVT and cheapest tariffs, while fixed term default tariffs are sourced from suppliers. SVT prices in this chart always refer to paper billing prices.
- We use the same calculations to produce the average cheapest tariff price for each supplier and for the average market cheapest tariff price. When calculating the cheapest tariff at both individual supplier and market level, we exclude tariffs restricted to certain regions. This is so we give a representative picture of tariffs generally available to all customers across GB.
- When calculating the cheapest tariff at individual supplier level, we include tariffs only available to existing customers (also known as ‘retention' tariffs) and exclude tariffs only available to new customers (also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs).
- When calculating the cheapest tariff at market level, we include tariffs only available to new customers (also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs) and exclude tariffs only available to existing customers (also known as ‘retention' tariffs).
- Collective tariffs or exclusive deals only available through a supplier’s website or through a specific price comparison website are included to the extent they are ‘open collective switches’ available to all customers. We also include tariffs restricted to a particular payment method, except for prepayment.
- The cheapest tariffs can include fixed and variable tariffs, may or may not involve exit fees, rewards or discounts, may only be available online and may be offered by any suppliers active in the market. Some suppliers included in the average market cheapest tariffs may not offer the Warm Home Discount.
- We include tariffs available with ‘white label’ providers in the calculation of the market cheapest tariff. Where relevant, we have also included them in the cheapest tariff offered by the parent supplier of the ‘white label’. ‘White label’ providers are organisations without supply licences that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity tariffs using their own brand.