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Chart

Source: Ofgem analysis of supplier data submissions.

Information correct as of: August 2017

This chart shows the number of domestic customer accounts paying by non-prepayment methods for each of the 10 larger suppliers. The number is broken down into four categories: accounts on a standard variable tariff (‘SVT’) held for more than three years with a supplier, accounts on an SVT held for less than three years with a supplier, accounts on other non-standard variable tariffs and accounts on fixed tariffs.

The chart is based on the latest available information submitted to us by suppliers (30 April 2017).

We update this chart on a biannual basis. Click the ‘more information’ tab above for a summary of the key figures, details of how to interpret the figures and for information on our methodology.

Please note the account numbers given to us by Co-operative Energy do not include the customers Co-operative Energy gained when GB Energy Supply ceased trading. We will rectify this in the near future.

Policy Areas:

  • Business consumers
  • Domestic consumers
  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Number of non-prepayment domestic customer accounts by supplier: Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)

SupplierFixed tariffOther non-standard variable tariffsStandard variable tariff (less than three years)Standard variable tariff (more than three years)
British Gas2,194,05801,836,8613,010,876
SSE630,928349,861966,2021,531,095
E.ON1,056,6679,3661,000,8041,247,809
EDF1,337,5470762,279795,247
Scottish Power1,551,33150,127393,728640,698
RWE npower1,187,211546450,843795,726
First Utility706,7940131,36023,769
OVO348,1850138,14110,153
Utility Warehouse67,111148,885136,327112,532
Coop205,801055,92936,367

More information

At-a-glance summary

At April 2017, the proportion of domestic customer accounts on standard variable tariffs (‘SVT’) and paying by non-prepayment methods was 59% on average, split between those SVT accounts held for more than three years (34%) and those held for less than three years (25%). All other accounts were mainly on fixed tariffs (39%), with 2% on other non-SVTs. The proportions vary significantly across suppliers.

When considering all payment methods, the proportion of domestic customer accounts on SVTs at April 2017, based on the data for the larger 10 suppliers, was 64% on average.

Relevance and further information

This chart tracks the number of customers on different tariff types. Along with other switching and consumer research statistics it helps us understand customer engagement with the energy market.

It should be considered jointly with our chart, Average tariff prices by supplier in the last quarter: Standard variable vs cheapest available tariffs (GB)

Our data shows SVTs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. As of April 2017 around 18 million domestic energy accounts (14 million paying by non-prepayment methods) are on SVTs. These customers are potentially missing out on significant savings on their bills compared to cheaper tariffs from their existing or another supplier.  

Methodology

  • We do not include suppliers with fewer than 250,000 non-prepayment customer accounts in our data, for either gas or electricity. 
  • We do not show the proportion of prepayment accounts on the different tariff types. This is because Ofgem has introduced a price cap to limit the amount suppliers can charge prepayment customers. These customers have a limited tariff choice available to them and so can’t access many of the cheapest deals. The price cap applied from 1 April 2017. It lasts until 2020, when we expect smart meters to give prepay customers access to better deals. 
  • For each supplier, a ‘dual fuel’ customer account (i.e. where a customer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier) is counted as one account, rather than two separate accounts. While the dual fuel figure can be used as a proxy for the number of customers with each supplier, please note that adding these accounts across suppliers would result in double counting forcustomers who get their gas and electricity from different suppliers. We do not show dual fuel accounts where a customer has a different tariff type for each fuel as this situation is fairly rare.

What are the different tariff types?

The different tariff types that this chart refers to are:

Standard variable rate tariffs (‘SVT’)

An SVT is a supply contract with an indefinite length that does not have a fixed-term applying to the terms and conditions. It’s an energy supplier’s basic offer.

If a customer does not choose a specific energy plan, for example after their fixed tariff ends, they are moved to an SVT until they choose a new one. A customer can also make an active choice to select an SVT.

All suppliers have an SVT. It is usually more expensive than other plans they can offer customers.

Fixed tariffs

A fixed tariff is a supply contract with terms and conditions which apply for a fixed period (for example, a contract offered by a supplier that has a standing and unit price that is fixed for a year).

All tariffs shown are for a domestic customer with typical ‘medium’ consumption (3,100 kWh/year for electricity and 12,500 kWh/year for gas). 

Other non-standard variable tariffs

A non-standard variable tariff is a supply contract with an indefinite length that does not have a fixed-term applying to the terms and conditions and has also associated rewards schemes, bundles or added services.

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Chart

Source: Energyhelpline.

Information correct as of: October 2017

This chart shows average prices in the last quarter for each of the 10 larger suppliers in the non-prepayment segment. These include suppliers’ standard variable and cheapest tariffs, which are compared with the average price of the market cheapest tariff in the 3 month period.

The prices shown in the chart are calculated using the new TDCV values that entered into effect from 1st of October 2017 (see the methodology section for more details).

In practical terms, this means that the tariffs offered after February 2017 are likely to appear slightly lower than those before February 2017.  

 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Average tariff prices by supplier: Standard variable vs cheapest available tariffs (GB)

SupplierSupplier's average annual standard variable tariffSupplier's cheapest annual average tariffMarket cheapest annual average tariff
British Gas10721036816
SSE1121872816
E.ON1133941816
EDF1142971816
Scottish Power1147973816
RWE npower1166935816
First Utility1132927816
OVO1097942816
Utility Warehouse10981017816
Coop1158859816

More information

At-a-glance summary

Between July and September 2017, the average standard variable tariff (‘SVT’) price for a domestic customer with one of the 10 larger suppliers in the non-prepayment segment ranged between £1,072 and £1,166.

The cheapest deals were all above the average market cheapest tariff of £816, ranging between £859 and £1,036. As a result, the average SVT price differentials in the period were between £36 and £299 relative to suppliers’ cheapest tariffs and between £256 and £350 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 SVT customers if they change tariff or switch supplier.

It should be considered jointly with our chart on the Number of non-prepayment domestic customer accounts by supplier: Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)

Our data shows SVTs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. Customers on SVTs are potentially missing out on significant savings on their bills compared to cheaper tariffs from their existing or another supplier. 

Methodology

  • 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). 
  • We do not show prices from suppliers with fewer than 250,000 non-prepayment customer accounts, for either gas or electricity.  
  • We use weekly prices across the quarter prior to publication to calculate the average SVT price. We take the data from Energyhelpline for each Monday of every week in the analysed period. 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).
    • 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).
    • 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.
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