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Chart

Source: Suppliers.

Information correct as of: July 2019

This chart shows the number of domestic gas customer accounts for each of the six large suppliers and medium-sized suppliers, excluding those that primarily supply customers on prepayment meters. The number is broken down into four categories: accounts on default tariffs held for three years or more with a supplier, accounts on default tariffs held for less than three years with a supplier, accounts on other non-standard variable tariffs and accounts on active choice fixed tariffs.

The chart is based on data provided to Ofgem by suppliers as of the snapshot date of 1 April 2019.

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.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers
  • Electricity - retail markets

Data Table

Number of domestic gas customer accounts by supplier (excluding pre-payment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)
Default tariffs (3 years or more)Default tariffs (less than 3 years)Other non-standard variable tariffsFixed tariff - active choice
British Gas2260615144384401978049
E.ON5583645826220895201
SSE856389413389238648481089
EDF Energy23518338948001104009
ScottishPower20608246189718641052093
npower2979363071981788697
Bulb26982689400
OVO Energy5546282998919421603
Shell Energy34416139161539487053
Octopus Energy01331252153373483
Utility Warehouse9562910898614906070424
Co-operative Energy1768097126594167379
Green Star Energy1344825600107125

More information

At-a-glance summary

Focusing on the suppliers shown in the chart, with the exception of Bulb, as of April 2019, the overall proportion of domestic gas customer accounts on default tariffs (both standard variable and fixed default tariffs) not paying via the prepayment payment method was 52%, a small increase from 51.5% in January 2019. The number of domestic customer accounts on default tariffs are split between those accounts held for three years or more (26%) and those held for less than three years (26%). All other accounts were on actively chosen fixed tariffs (46%), and on other non-standard variable tariffs (2%). These figures are broadly unchanged since January 2019. The proportions vary significantly across suppliers due to each supplier's business model, the characteristics of their customers and the tariffs they offer.

The above aggregated figures do not include Bulb’s customer accounts. This is because, as of April 2019, they offered only one variable tariff which, while being an SVT, was priced similarly to fixed tariffs and was used to acquire customers.

When considering electricity customer accounts on all payment methods, the proportion on default tariffs in April 2019, based on the data for the suppliers shown in the chart excluding Bulb, was 56%.

Relevance and further information

This chart tracks the number of domestic electricity customer accounts on different tariff types. We also publish a chart tracking the number of domestic electricity customer accounts on different tariff types. Along with other switching and consumer research statistics, these charts help us understand customer engagement with the energy market.

These should be considered jointly with our chart, Average tariff prices by supplier: Standard variable and fixed default vs cheapest available tariffs (GB).

Our data shows default tariffs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. Among the suppliers included in the chart, excluding Bulb, around 11 million domestic gas accounts (9 million excluding prepayment payment methods) were on default tariffs as of 1 April 2019. These customers 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 Standard variable tariff indicators - previous updates.

Methodology

This is an indicator of customer engagement with the tariff choice available in the market, which excludes prepayment customer accounts. This is because the availability of different tariff types for customers on prepayment is more limited than that for customers on credit payment methods. The indicator focuses on the licensed suppliers active in the market with more than 250,000 customer accounts, excluding suppliers which primarily supply to customers on prepayment meters.

The different tariff types that this chart refers to are:

Default tariffs

These tariffs are either standard variable tariffs (‘SVT’) or default fixed tariffs.

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.

Similar to a SVT, a default fixed term tariff is a tariff onto which a customer is rolled onto following the expiration of another fixed tariff. This tariff has a fixed price for a set period of time. At the end of this period, the customer will be rolled onto another fixed tariff.

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. Any vacant properties are also included under this category.

Active Choice 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). An active choice tariff is a tariff which a customer actively signs up to.

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Chart

Source: Suppliers.

Information correct as of: July 2019

This chart shows the number of domestic electricity customer accounts for each of the six large suppliers and medium-sized suppliers, excluding those that primarily supply customers on prepayment meters. The number is broken down into four categories: accounts on default tariffs held for three years or more with a supplier, accounts on default tariffs held for less than three years with a supplier, accounts on other non-standard variable tariffs and accounts on active choice fixed tariffs.

The chart is based on data provided to Ofgem by suppliers as of the snapshot date of 1 April 2019.

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.

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers
  • Electricity - retail markets

Data Table

Number of domestic electricity customer accounts by supplier (excluding pre-payment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)
Default tariffs (3 years or more)Default tariffs (less than 3 years)Other non-standard variable tariffsFixed tariff - active choice
British Gas1349141137444901718440
E.ON105595884486301141239
SSE1442965596575232707640336
EDF Energy63125560898401365139
ScottishPower38656363102121681256304
npower5828084090813971015
Bulb317102820000
OVO Energy97033539751093494691
Shell Energy37609153160577520918
Octopus Energy01697033536425531
Utility Warehouse11888311828016844479407
Co-operative Energy21299116601708193861
Green Star Energy1433897640112712

More information

At-a-glance summary

Focusing on the suppliers shown in the chart, with the exception of Bulb, as of April 2019, the overall proportion of domestic electricity customer accounts on default tariffs (both standard variable and fixed default tariffs) not paying via the prepayment payment method was 54.3%, a small increase from 53.7% in January 2019. The number of domestic customer accounts on default tariffs are split between those accounts held for three years or more (28%) and those held for less than three years (27%). All other accounts were on actively chosen fixed tariffs (44%), and on other non-standard variable tariffs (2%). These figures are broadly unchanged since January 2019. The proportions vary significantly across suppliers due to each supplier's business model, the characteristics of their customers and the tariffs they offer.

The above aggregated figures do not include Bulb’s customer accounts. This is because, as of April 2019, they offered only one variable tariff which, while being an SVT, was priced similarly to fixed tariffs and was used to acquire customers.

When considering electricity customer accounts on all payment methods, the proportion on default tariffs in April 2019, based on the data for the suppliers shown in the chart excluding Bulb, was 58%.

Relevance and further information

This chart tracks the number of domestic electricity customer accounts on different tariff types. We also publish a chart tracking the number of domestic gas customer accounts on different tariff types. Along with other switching and consumer research statistics, these charts help us understand customer engagement with the energy market.

These should be considered jointly with our chart, Average tariff prices by supplier: Standard variable and fixed default vs cheapest available tariffs (GB).

Our data shows default tariffs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. Among the suppliers included in the chart, excluding Bulb, around 14 million domestic electricity accounts (11 million excluding prepayment payment methods) were on default tariffs as of 1 April 2019. These customers 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 Standard variable tariff indicators - previous updates.

Methodology

This is an indicator of customer engagement with the tariff choice available in the market, which excludes prepayment customer accounts. This is because the availability of different tariff types for customers on prepayment is more limited than that for customers on credit payment methods. The indicator focuses on the licensed suppliers active in the market with more than 250,000 customer accounts, excluding suppliers which primarily supply to customers on prepayment meters.

The different tariff types that this chart refers to are:

Default tariffs

These tariffs are either standard variable tariffs (‘SVT’) or default fixed tariffs.

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.

Similar to a SVT, a default fixed term tariff is a tariff onto which a customer is rolled onto following the expiration of another fixed tariff. This tariff has a fixed price for a set period of time. At the end of this period, the customer will be rolled onto another fixed tariff.

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. Any vacant properties are also included under this category.

Active Choice 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). An active choice tariff is a tariff which a customer actively signs up to.

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Chart

Source: Ofgem analysis of supplier data submissions.

Information correct as of: July 2018

This chart shows the number of domestic customer accounts for each of the ten larger suppliers in the non-price protected segment that offer both variable and fixed tariffs. The number is broken down into five 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 fixed term default tariffs, accounts on other non-standard variable tariff and accounts on active choice fixed tariffs.

The chart is based on the latest available information submitted to us by suppliers (April 2018).

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.

Policy Areas:

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

Data Table

Number of non-price protected domestic customer accounts by supplier: Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)
SupplierFixed tariff - active choiceFixed tariff - defaultOther non-standard variable tariffsStandard variable tariff (less than three years)Standard variable tariff (more than three years)
British Gas2,240,96226,99701,333,3642,575,593
SSE673,9290272,234738,0921,406,634
E.ON1,444,99711,7309,314704,8961,095,021
EDF1,312,72200683,876679,064
Scottish Power1,257,660151,27342,104410,840487,918
npower1,240,3644,04024,345388,010623,593
First Utility635,9150742130,41223,331
OVO Energy502,89800146,94617,425
Utility Warehouse57,1930160,688115,686114,577
Co-operative Energy174,10439,3192,17638,22126,577

More information

At-a-glance summary

Focusing on the ten suppliers shown in the chart, as of April 2018, the overall proportion of domestic customer accounts on default tariffs (both standard variable and fixed default tariffs) that were paying by non-price protected methods was 54%, a fall from 57% in October 2017. The number of domestic customer accounts on default tariffs are split between those SVT accounts held for more than three years (32%), those held for less than three years (21%) and those on fixed default tariffs (1%). All other accounts were on actively chosen fixed tariffs (43%), and on non-standard variable tariffs (2%). The proportions vary significantly across suppliers.

When considering both price protected and non-price protected customer accounts, the proportion on default tariffs in April 2018, based on the data for the ten suppliers shown in the chart, was 58% on average, down from 62% in October 2017.

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: Standard variable and fixed default vs cheapest available tariffs (GB).

Our data shows default tariffs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. As of April 2018 around 17 million domestic energy accounts (13 million paying by non-price protected methods) are on default tariffs. These customers 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.

Methodology

  • We do not include suppliers in the chart with fewer than 250,000 non-price protected customer accounts in our data, for either gas or electricity.  We also exclude suppliers that offer only one tariff type (i.e. only one variable tariff). 
  • We do not show the proportion of customer accounts which are price-protected on the different tariff types. This is because Ofgem has introduced a price cap to limit the amount suppliers can charge prepayment customers, which was extended to include customers on the Warm Home Discount as of 2 February 2018. The price cap applied from 1 April 2017. It lasts until 2020, when we expect smart meters to give prepayment 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 for customers 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.

Active Choice 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).

An active choice tariff is a tariff which a customer actively signs up to.

All tariffs shown are for a domestic customer with typical ‘medium’ consumption (3,100 kWh/year for electricity and 12,000 kWh/year for gas). 

Default Fixed tariff

Similar to a SVT, a fixed term tariff is a tariff onto which a customer is rolled onto following the expiration of another fixed tariff. This tariff has a fixed price for a set period of time. At the end of this period, the customer will be rolled onto another fixed tariff.

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: Energylinx (Until May 2017) & Energyhelpline (June 2017 onwards).

Information correct as of: September 2019

This chart compares the cheapest available tariffs offered by the six large suppliers with the cheapest tariff available in the market by payment method (direct debit, standard credit and prepayment). Figures are based on a typical domestic dual fuel customer.

From February 2017 the prices shown in the chart are calculated using the latest Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) 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

Cheapest tariffs by payment method: Typical domestic dual fuel customer (GB)
DateSix largest suppliers (direct debit)Six largest suppliers (standard credit)Six largest suppliers (prepayment)Market (direct debit)Market (standard credit)Market (prepayment)
28/01/2012 915.27 976.70 1,021.54 906.56 971.04 969.61
28/02/2012 886.18 976.70 1,021.54 878.10 971.04 969.61
28/03/2012 886.18 976.70 1,021.54 878.10 971.04 969.61
28/04/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 878.10 953.40 969.24
28/05/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 878.10 890.12 969.24
28/06/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 895.69 953.40 1,017.42
28/07/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 875.93 953.40 1,017.42
28/08/2012 899.10 957.03 1,021.54 875.93 957.03 1,017.42
28/09/2012 901.47 1,020.71 1,021.54 875.93 988.14 1,017.42
28/10/2012 906.17 1,020.71 1,069.39 893.85 988.14 1,019.30
28/11/2012 958.21 1,020.71 1,069.39 909.59 979.35 1,045.64
28/12/2012 990.70 1,071.38 1,133.19 909.59 979.35 1,045.64
28/01/2013 957.18 1,037.20 1,133.19 909.59 979.35 1,045.64
28/02/2013 957.18 1,037.20 1,133.19 909.59 1,037.20 1,045.64
28/03/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 909.59 1,046.57 1,045.64
28/04/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 909.59 1,046.57 1,045.64
28/05/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 962.43 996.90 1,045.64
28/06/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 769.95 996.90 1,045.64
28/07/2013 984.68 1,075.51 1,133.19 769.95 996.90 1,045.64
28/08/2013 971.77 1,051.79 1,133.19 769.95 1,051.79 1,045.64
28/09/2013 971.77 1,051.79 1,133.19 769.95 1,051.79 1,045.64
28/10/2013 1,011.80 1,079.91 1,133.19 769.95 1,070.99 1,093.35
28/11/2013 993.40 1,058.15 1,150.97 769.95 1,058.15 1,093.35
28/12/2013 1,033.47 1,101.65 1,178.61 769.95 1,101.65 1,093.35
28/01/2014 1,033.47 1,101.65 1,178.61 975.21 1,101.65 1,172.77
28/02/2014 1,033.97 1,108.10 1,178.61 966.34 1,108.10 1,172.77
28/03/2014 1,024.79 1,117.27 1,178.61 964.31 1,117.27 1,171.39
28/04/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,178.61 946.42 1,069.95 1,171.39
28/05/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,178.61 944.55 1,069.95 1,171.39
28/06/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,170.86 944.55 1,069.95 1,162.40
28/07/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,170.86 944.95 1,029.05 1,162.40
28/08/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,170.86 943.43 1,038.88 1,154.43
28/09/2014 960.90 1,030.95 1,170.86 942.27 1,030.95 1,154.43
28/10/2014 953.40 1,046.45 1,170.86 931.02 1,024.45 1,154.43
28/11/2014 921.88 1,003.79 1,170.86 914.51 1,003.79 1,154.43
28/12/2014 916.21 1,003.79 1,170.86 906.14 1,003.79 1,151.22
28/01/2015 875.40 945.46 1,148.99 871.26 945.46 1,148.99
28/02/2015 839.28 955.07 1,148.90 839.28 950.35 1,148.90
28/03/2015 836.99 907.24 1,148.99 836.99 907.24 1,116.99
28/04/2015 834.57 977.56 1,141.64 834.57 950.63 1,116.99
28/05/2015 835.19 905.44 1,141.64 830.56 905.44 1,116.99
28/06/2015 835.71 981.78 1,122.97 830.56 940.90 1,116.99
28/07/2015 863.85 981.78 1,122.97 830.56 939.85 1,116.99
28/08/2015 876.03 977.32 1,128.54 830.56 940.27 1,116.99
28/09/2015 876.03 963.77 1,128.54 830.56 907.26 1,100.94
28/10/2015 803.00 873.25 1,128.54 793.93 844.04 1,100.94
28/11/2015 805.40 950.75 1,128.54 787.05 844.04 1,055.61
28/12/2015 850.52 950.75 1,102.20 787.05 844.04 1,055.61
28/01/2016 769.69 839.94 1,102.20 765.00 839.94 1,055.61
28/02/2016 738.38 808.63 1,092.26 738.38 808.63 1,054.20
28/03/2016 727.70 797.76 1,070.37 727.70 797.76 1,051.22
28/04/2016 723.91 793.48 1,070.37 723.91 793.48 1,030.27
28/05/2016 723.23 877.12 1,037.31 723.23 877.12 1,017.61
28/06/2016 723.23 847.45 1,037.31 723.23 847.45 985.97
28/07/2016 779.39 904.97 1,037.31 758.31 871.54 985.97
28/08/2016 801.37 941.42 1,043.54 769.65 871.54 985.97
28/09/2016 754.64 839.15 1,043.54 744.30 839.15 985.97
28/10/2016 803.54 967.13 1,043.54 741.92 829.42 985.97
28/11/2016 897.18 1,002.63 1,035.64 790.02 907.75 985.97
28/12/2016 951.51 1,031.57 1,035.64 790.02 923.48 985.97
28/01/2017 951.51 1,031.57 1,035.64 833.71 951.58 985.97
28/02/2017 928.48 1,033.40 1,015.43 829.10 935.19 970.67
28/03/2017 922.23 1,016.74 1,019.21 829.10 949.48 970.67
28/04/2017 923.55 1,018.06 994.53 863.31 946.43 970.67
28/05/2017 923.57 1,018.08 994.53 826.52 923.47 979.27
28/06/2017 923.57 1,018.08 994.53 835.76 923.23 979.27
28/07/2017 922.82 1,017.33 994.53 829.91 923.23 979.27
28/08/2017 910.05 1,004.56 988.90 810.11 923.47 979.27
28/09/2017 904.48 1,051.43 988.90 826.73 923.47 979.27
28/10/2017 897.98 1,012.47 988.90 826.73 943.35 978.04
28/11/2017 928.59 1,100.89 988.90 826.73 958.08 978.04
28/12/2017 973.04 1,051.43 988.90 798.72 958.08 957.12
28/01/2018 907.89 1,051.43 988.90 809.32 958.08 960.06
28/02/2018 900.98 1,050.87 1,028.21 810.06 958.08 945.76
28/03/2018 900.98 1,074.65 1,028.21 810.11 958.08 945.76
28/04/2018 1,000.42 1,143.14 1,030.55 788.16 958.08 946.63
28/05/2018 962.53 1,057.04 1,030.93 788.16 958.08 946.63
28/06/2018 953.16 1,033.19 1,070.34 796.99 958.08 946.63
28/07/2018 965.27 1,045.29 1,070.34 826.73 990.66 946.63
28/08/2018 951.33 1,198.37 1,070.50 842.49 990.68 946.54
28/09/2018 1,043.21 1,138.84 1,070.50 920.60 1,067.64 983.86
28/10/2018 1,051.27 1,164.58 1,070.50 920.60 1,107.76 983.86
28/11/2018 1,030.12 1,055.76 1,115.66 946.13 1,055.76 983.86
28/12/2018 1,034.69 1,134.34 1,115.66 902.66 1,109.27 983.86
28/01/2019 1,035.63 1,125.84 1,115.66 941.26 941.26 1,016.48
28/02/2019 1,008.69 1,040.00 1,115.66 929.66 1,040.00 1,023.39
28/03/2019 1,011.22 1,040.00 1,115.66 891.94 1,040.00 1,023.39
28/04/2019 1,024.59 1,228.88 1,115.66 880.20 1,098.83 1,023.39
28/05/2019 943.25 1,089.67 1,224.01 872.57 1,087.91 1,052.46
28/06/2019 932.24 1,015.84 1,224.01 872.57 1,015.84 1,052.46
28/07/2019989.241079.451,224.01846.341,070.101,052.46
28/08/2019949.411053.051215.59846.341053.051052.46

More information

At-a-glance summary

Direct debit customers have traditionally been offered the cheapest tariffs, followed by standard credit customers and those using prepayment meters.  

After the introduction of the prepayment safeguard tariff in April 2017, the overall cheapest tariffs have continued to be those for direct debit customers. However, the ranking between standard credit and prepayment cheapest tariffs has fluctuated over time. Looking at the whole market, since February 2018 the cheapest prepayment tariff has been less expensive than the cheapest standard credit tariff. Among the six largest suppliers, the cheapest standard credit tariff decreased by £26 to £1,053 from £1,079 and remains less expensive than the cheapest prepayment tariff at £1,216.

At the end of August 2019, the cheapest direct debit tariff in the market was £207 less expensive than the cheapest standard credit tariff and £206 less than the cheapest prepayment tariff. The cheapest direct debit tariff has historically been at least £100 less expensive than the cheapest standard credit tariff.

A prepayment price cap was introduced on 1 April 2017, limiting the amount that suppliers can charge their prepayment customers. The default tariff price cap also came into effect on 1 January 2019, limiting the amount that suppliers can charge customers on default tariffs.

Relevance and further information

This indicator helps us understand pricing by payment methods, as well as how much other suppliers are able to compete with the six large suppliers for each method.

Methodology

We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical medium domestic consumer’. As of October 2017, typical domestic consumption values (TDCV) for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 3,100kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). The chart includes collective switching tariffs from Q1 2016.

All tariffs shown in the chart are for a dual fuel customer. Dual fuel refers to a situation where a customer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier.

Tariffs with limited availability depending on customer features (for example, tariffs which are only available to new customers, also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs, or tariffs restricted to certain regions) are excluded from the calculation to make sure that all tariffs considered are generally available to all customers across GB.

Tariffs available with white label suppliers are included in the calculation of the cheapest tariff. White label suppliers are organisations without supply licences that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using their own brand.

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Chart

Source: Energyhelpline; Suppliers.

Information correct as of: July 2019

This chart shows average prices in the last quarter for each of the 13 larger suppliers in the non-prepayment segment. These include suppliers’ default tariffs (SVTs and, if available, fixed term default tariffs) and cheapest tariffs, which are compared with the average price of the market cheapest tariff in the period between April and June 2019.

In this period, Bulb was offering only one tariff.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Average tariff prices by supplier: Standard variable and fixed default vs cheapest available tariffs (GB)
SupplierSupplier's annual average fixed term default tariffSupplier's average annual standard variable tariffSupplier's cheapest annual average tariffMarket cheapest annual average tariffDefault tariff cap
British Gas 1,254 1,254 1,221 880 1,254
SSE 1,253 1,097 880 1,254
E.ON 1,254 1,022 880 1,254
EDF 1,254 1,056 880 1,254
Scottish Power 1,254 1,085 880 1,254
npower 1,253 1,254 1,013 880 1,254
Shell Energy 1,254 1,035 880 1,254
OVO Energy 1,249 1,119 880 1,254
Utility Warehouse 1,248 1,078 880 1,254
Co-operative Energy 1,253 954 880 1,254
Bulb 1,000 1,000 880 1,254
Green Star Energy 1,253 1,183 880 1,254
Octopus Energy 1,041 968 880 1,254

More information

At-a-glance summary

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.

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). 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.
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Chart

Source: Energylinx (Until May 2017) & Energyhelpline (June 2017 onwards).

Information correct as of: September 2019

This chart shows trends in domestic energy bills by tariff offered by the six large suppliers and other suppliers. It compares their average standard variable tariffs with the cheapest tariffs available in the market (including white label tariffs). Figures are based on a typical domestic dual fuel customer paying by direct debit. 

From February 2017 the prices shown in the chart are calculated using the latest Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) 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.  

This information should not be used as a price comparison tool. To find out about accredited price comparison sites, see Compare gas and electricity tariffs.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Retail price comparison by company and tariff type: Domestic (GB)
DateAverage standard variable tariff (Six largest suppliers)Average standard variable tariff (Other suppliers)Cheapest tariff (Six largest suppliers)Cheapest tariff (All suppliers)Cheapest tariff (Basket)Default tariff cap level
28/01/2012 1,020.16 1,024.33 915.27 906.56 947.56
28/02/2012 1,000.76 1,017.41 886.18 878.10 930.29
28/03/2012 997.25 1,017.41 886.18 878.10 936.54
28/04/2012 997.25 1,017.35 895.69 878.10 937.68
28/05/2012 997.25 1,017.35 895.69 878.10 929.78
28/06/2012 997.25 1,032.16 895.69 895.69 945.53
28/07/2012 997.25 1,032.16 895.69 875.93 928.99
28/08/2012 997.25 1,030.02 899.10 875.93 924.85
28/09/2012 997.25 1,017.84 901.47 875.93 931.04
28/10/2012 1,009.00 1,020.51 906.17 893.85 956.00
28/11/2012 1,030.78 1,075.12 958.21 909.59 997.71
28/12/2012 1,061.80 1,087.65 990.70 909.59 994.59
28/01/2013 1,074.42 1,087.65 957.18 909.59 990.81
28/02/2013 1,074.42 1,119.05 957.18 909.59 994.56
28/03/2013 1,074.42 1,119.05 966.54 909.59 995.50
28/04/2013 1,074.42 1,119.05 966.54 909.59 988.37
28/05/2013 1,074.43 1,119.05 966.54 962.43 997.77
28/06/2013 1,074.43 1,119.05 966.54 769.95 967.26
28/07/2013 1,074.45 1,119.05 984.68 769.95 974.82
28/08/2013 1,074.45 1,119.05 971.77 769.95 988.47
28/09/2013 1,074.45 1,119.05 971.77 769.95 979.55
28/10/2013 1,074.45 1,127.02 1,011.80 769.95 995.67
28/11/2013 1,105.94 1,123.75 993.40 769.95 992.26
28/12/2013 1,138.95 1,123.75 1,033.47 769.95 997.00
28/01/2014 1,145.84 1,125.14 1,033.47 975.21 1,013.73
28/02/2014 1,134.09 1,128.76 1,033.97 966.34 1,014.19
28/03/2014 1,128.10 1,126.61 1,024.79 964.31 1,016.25
28/04/2014 1,128.10 1,129.62 1,000.38 946.42 995.26
28/05/2014 1,128.10 1,129.62 1,000.38 944.55 995.13
28/06/2014 1,128.10 1,129.62 1,000.38 944.55 992.88
28/07/2014 1,128.10 1,134.19 1,000.38 944.95 976.39
28/08/2014 1,128.10 1,127.79 1,000.38 943.43 978.98
28/09/2014 1,128.10 1,158.39 960.90 942.27 972.34
28/10/2014 1,128.10 1,131.80 953.40 931.02 960.15
28/11/2014 1,128.10 1,131.80 921.88 914.51 947.94
28/12/2014 1,128.10 1,130.51 916.21 906.14 929.69
28/01/2015 1,124.33 1,130.51 875.40 871.26 895.39
28/02/2015 1,106.65 1,110.84 839.28 839.28 881.39
28/03/2015 1,106.65 1,088.31 836.99 836.99 892.38
28/04/2015 1,106.65 1,075.32 834.57 834.57 878.56
28/05/2015 1,102.28 1,073.26 835.19 830.56 877.12
28/06/2015 1,102.28 1,073.26 835.71 830.56 871.21
28/07/2015 1,102.28 1,066.77 863.85 830.56 867.88
28/08/2015 1,098.03 1,066.77 876.03 830.56 868.79
28/09/2015 1,098.03 1,054.98 876.03 830.56 858.62
28/10/2015 1,098.03 1,050.12 803.00 793.93 823.00
28/11/2015 1,098.03 1,040.70 805.40 787.05 810.84
28/12/2015 1,098.03 1,039.03 850.52 787.05 803.86
28/01/2016 1,098.03 1,035.48 769.69 765.00 785.04
28/02/2016 1,092.69 1,020.06 738.38 738.38 755.65
28/03/2016 1,071.44 1,013.00 727.70 727.70 756.05
28/04/2016 1,065.97 978.55 723.91 723.91 751.58
28/05/2016 1,065.97 976.04 723.23 723.23 742.71
28/06/2016 1,065.97 984.02 723.23 723.23 751.36
28/07/2016 1,065.97 988.70 779.39 758.31 779.72
28/08/2016 1,065.97 983.86 801.37 769.65 789.25
28/09/2016 1,065.97 983.89 754.64 744.30 777.00
28/10/2016 1,065.97 994.93 803.54 741.92 786.41
28/11/2016 1,065.97 1,012.84 897.18 790.02 859.23
28/12/2016 1,065.97 1,019.72 951.51 790.02 872.16
28/01/2017 1,061.06 1,020.10 951.51 833.71 881.11
28/02/2017 1,081.27 1,027.06 928.48 829.10 869.79
28/03/2017 1,109.48 1,035.47 922.23 829.10 873.38
28/04/2017 1,122.28 1,041.56 923.55 863.31 874.62
28/05/2017 1,122.28 1,039.22 923.57 826.52 861.76
28/06/2017 1,122.28 1,026.98 923.57 835.76 852.58
28/07/2017 1,122.28 1,030.63 922.82 829.91 844.94
28/08/2017 1,122.28 1,030.76 910.05 810.11 839.30
28/09/2017 1,134.95 1,026.42 904.48 826.73 837.66
28/10/2017 1,134.95 1,031.41 897.98 826.73 854.69
28/11/2017 1,134.95 1,044.84 928.59 826.73 846.77
28/12/2017 1,134.95 1,040.86 973.04 798.72 841.48
28/01/2018 1,134.95 1,036.14 907.89 809.32 840.81
28/02/2018 1,134.95 1,039.85 900.98 810.06 840.58
28/03/2018 1,134.95 1,044.29 900.98 810.11 842.91
28/04/2018 1,138.28 1,061.81 1,000.42 788.16 820.46
28/05/2018 1,138.28 1,060.56 962.53 788.16 832.69
28/06/2018 1,172.20 1,066.39 953.16 796.99 845.91
28/07/2018 1,184.79 1,075.35 965.27 826.73 861.22
28/08/2018 1,194.00 1,091.02 951.33 842.49 897.02
28/09/2018 1,205.62 1,104.91 1,043.21 920.60 982.09
28/10/2018 1,220.65 1,124.27 1,051.27 920.60 989.84
28/11/2018 1,220.65 1,140.97 1,030.12 946.13 993.80
28/12/2018 1,220.65 1,142.96 1,034.69 902.66 983.19
28/01/2019 1,136.67 1,099.49 1,035.63 941.26 992.85 1,137.47
28/02/2019 1,136.67 1,097.67 1,008.69 929.66 974.58 1,137.47
28/03/2019 1,136.67 1,094.87 1,011.22 891.94 945.99 1,137.47
28/04/2019 1,253.94 1,152.11 1,024.59 880.20 929.55 1,254.00
28/05/2019 1,253.94 1,153.58 943.25 872.57 922.45 1,254.00
28/06/2019 1,253.94 1,148.88 932.24 872.57 897.80 1,254.00
28/07/20191,253.991,142.74989.24846.34890.44 1,254.00
28/08/20191,253.991,144.20949.41846.34893.221,254.00
28/09/20191,254.00

More information

At-a-glance summary

As of August 2019, the average price of SVTs for the six large suppliers for a typical dual fuel customer paying with direct debit was £1,254, unchanged from the previous month. This is level with the existing default tariff cap. On 7 August we announced the updated default tariff cap for this winter period, which has fallen by £75 to £1,179. This will enter into effect on 1 October 2019. Any changes in suppliers’ tariff prices to adjust to the new cap level will be reflected in future indicators’ updates .

The cheapest tariff in the market in August 2019 was £846, unchanged from the previous month. The cheapest tariff basket was £893 in August 2019, £3 more expensive than in July 2019, increasing after having fallen for 8 consecutive months. See the methodology for information on how the cheapest tariff basket is calculated.

The differential between the average price of SVTs for the six large suppliers and the market cheapest tariff is £408, unchanged from the previous month. The differential between the average price of SVTs for the large six suppliers and the cheapest tariff basket decreased from £364 in July 2019 to £361 in August 2019. This was mostly due to SVTs being priced at the level of the cap, whilst suppliers have also released cheaper fixed tariffs due to wholesale costs decreasing.

For details on prices of fixed default tariffs, please see the chart showing Average tariff prices per supplier.

Relevance and further information

Tariff differentials reflect pricing in different market segments, as well as how much other suppliers are able to compete on price with the six large suppliers.

Methodology

We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical medium domestic consumer’. As of October 2017, typical domestic consumption values (TDCV) for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 3,100kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). The chart includes collective switching tariffs from Q1 2016. All tariffs shown in the chart are for a dual fuel, direct debit customer. Dual fuel refers to a situation where a customer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier.

A standard variable tariff refers to a supply contract which is for a period of an indefinite length and which does not contain a fixed term period that applies to any of 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 will be moved on a standard variable tariff until they have chosen a new one. A customer can also make an active choice to select a standard variable tariff.

Tariffs with limited availability depending on customer features (for example, tariffs which are only available to new customers, also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs, or tariffs restricted to certain regions) are excluded from the calculation to make sure that all tariffs considered are generally available to all customers across GB.

Tariffs available with white label suppliers are included in the calculation of the cheapest tariffs. White label suppliers are organisations without supply licences that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using their own brand.

To calculate the average of the cheapest tariffs from the 10 cheapest suppliers we took the cheapest tariff offered by each supplier in the market (i.e. one tariff per supplier) and then ranked the tariffs in order of price. We then took the simple average of the 10 cheapest tariffs in this list. This method is to ensure a cross section of suppliers is included in the calculation.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Gas bid-offer spreads by contract type (GB).

Source: Ofgem calculations using data from ICIS.

Information correct as of: July 2019

The chart shows bid-offer spreads across a range of contracts for gas delivered on the GB gas hub (the National Balancing Point) for different periods of time in the future. Figures are presented as monthly averages of daily spreads.

Policy Areas:

  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Gas bid-offer spreads by contract type (GB)
Month beginningDay-aheadFront MonthFront QuarterFront SeasonSecond SeasonThird SeasonFourth Season
01/01/20060.15%0.23%0.40%
01/02/20060.36%0.27%0.34%
01/03/20060.21%0.25%0.28%
01/04/20060.16%0.19%0.27%
01/05/20060.26%0.25%0.24%0.27%0.34%0.50%0.40%
01/06/20060.66%0.25%0.28%0.28%0.24%0.38%0.24%
01/07/20060.15%0.26%0.18%0.36%0.23%0.34%0.25%
01/08/20060.20%0.27%0.18%0.40%0.33%0.39%0.28%
01/09/20060.37%0.26%0.20%0.40%0.26%0.42%0.34%
01/10/20060.39%0.22%0.18%0.30%0.38%0.42%0.49%
01/11/20060.20%0.19%0.21%0.29%0.51%0.37%0.53%
01/12/20060.33%0.26%0.26%0.36%0.51%0.33%0.42%
01/01/20070.34%0.33%0.43%0.42%0.31%0.37%0.32%
01/02/20070.27%0.44%0.68%0.68%0.27%0.40%0.29%
01/03/20070.31%0.52%0.51%0.53%0.32%0.50%0.33%
01/04/20070.33%0.54%0.53%0.21%0.36%0.29%0.49%
01/05/20070.33%0.52%0.58%0.27%0.44%0.33%0.41%
01/06/20070.33%0.65%0.61%0.28%0.36%0.24%0.43%
01/07/20070.23%0.45%0.42%0.37%0.48%0.45%0.57%
01/08/20070.20%0.48%0.34%0.28%0.41%0.46%0.59%
01/09/20070.17%0.42%0.35%0.32%0.33%0.43%0.59%
01/10/20070.19%0.44%0.35%0.53%0.41%0.55%0.42%
01/11/20070.16%0.33%0.28%0.53%0.35%0.44%0.38%
01/12/20070.14%0.33%0.26%0.37%0.33%0.41%0.36%
01/01/20080.12%0.29%0.33%0.28%0.25%0.40%0.32%
01/02/20080.10%0.32%0.32%0.25%0.23%0.41%0.31%
01/03/20080.10%0.26%0.29%0.26%0.14%0.19%0.16%
01/04/20080.08%0.20%0.25%0.19%0.20%0.17%0.31%
01/05/20080.09%0.22%0.26%0.18%0.26%0.21%0.30%
01/06/20080.08%0.21%0.21%0.17%0.22%0.18%0.26%
01/07/20080.15%0.28%0.23%0.24%0.23%0.19%0.24%
01/08/20080.10%0.28%0.23%0.22%0.30%0.20%0.35%
01/09/20080.08%0.27%0.23%0.24%0.23%0.18%0.32%
01/10/20080.17%0.27%0.35%0.34%0.29%0.40%0.37%
01/11/20080.19%0.36%0.42%0.40%0.35%0.42%0.46%
01/12/20080.27%0.28%0.33%0.43%0.34%0.49%0.41%
01/01/20090.11%0.38%0.50%0.43%0.36%0.53%0.42%
01/02/20090.15%0.41%0.56%0.52%0.36%0.55%0.38%
01/03/20090.16%0.41%0.54%0.55%0.37%0.43%0.35%
01/04/20090.32%0.50%0.79%0.35%0.44%0.28%0.49%
01/05/20090.19%0.43%0.56%0.31%0.35%0.28%0.42%
01/06/20090.26%0.41%0.53%0.36%0.33%0.31%0.46%
01/07/20090.24%0.56%0.46%0.38%0.36%0.32%0.41%
01/08/20090.27%0.52%0.39%0.31%0.34%0.28%0.28%
01/09/20090.30%0.57%0.53%0.57%0.52%0.47%0.45%
01/10/20090.29%0.39%0.63%0.49%0.45%0.59%0.51%
01/11/20090.18%0.44%0.69%0.55%0.42%0.58%0.54%
01/12/20090.17%0.46%0.56%0.65%0.50%0.66%0.65%
01/01/20100.19%0.47%0.82%0.62%0.47%0.74%0.68%
01/02/20100.15%0.37%0.54%0.46%0.51%0.86%0.77%
01/03/20100.19%0.42%0.53%0.65%0.53%0.72%0.58%
01/04/20100.15%0.45%0.84%0.51%0.66%0.59%0.78%
01/05/20100.23%0.45%0.72%0.50%0.60%0.59%0.80%
01/06/20100.14%0.42%0.50%0.43%0.52%0.47%0.72%
01/07/20100.13%0.41%0.62%0.50%0.63%0.59%0.75%
01/08/20100.13%0.37%0.54%0.47%0.51%0.55%0.63%
01/09/20100.12%0.26%0.31%0.41%0.41%0.46%0.61%
01/10/20100.12%0.24%0.48%0.35%0.39%0.52%0.44%
01/11/20100.13%0.28%0.41%0.37%0.41%0.60%0.60%
01/12/20100.08%0.30%0.35%0.48%0.42%0.64%0.60%
01/01/20110.10%0.31%0.52%0.40%0.37%0.51%0.50%
01/02/20110.12%0.23%0.41%0.36%0.30%0.45%0.47%
01/03/20110.08%0.25%0.28%0.34%0.25%0.43%0.34%
01/04/20110.12%0.19%0.36%0.19%0.30%0.30%0.35%
01/05/20110.10%0.20%0.39%0.27%0.34%0.36%0.55%
01/06/20110.09%0.17%0.27%0.23%0.33%0.26%0.57%
01/07/20110.11%0.18%0.34%0.26%0.28%0.24%0.44%
01/08/20110.11%0.28%0.24%0.22%0.29%0.27%0.49%
01/09/20110.16%0.22%0.24%0.30%0.26%0.24%0.43%
01/10/20110.11%0.20%0.33%0.27%0.25%0.37%0.40%
01/11/20110.11%0.19%0.29%0.26%0.24%0.30%0.44%
01/12/20110.12%0.26%0.29%0.37%0.31%0.43%0.44%
01/01/20120.12%0.23%0.40%0.37%0.33%0.44%0.41%
01/02/20120.10%0.29%0.52%0.51%0.36%0.54%0.51%
01/03/20120.11%0.29%0.38%0.42%0.31%0.42%0.50%
01/04/20120.09%0.24%0.43%0.27%0.32%0.36%0.46%
01/05/20120.11%0.22%0.35%0.29%0.38%0.35%0.45%
01/06/20120.11%0.30%0.33%0.31%0.34%0.31%0.37%
01/07/20120.13%0.21%0.34%0.31%0.37%0.35%0.55%
01/08/20120.12%0.20%0.32%0.31%0.34%0.34%0.42%
01/09/20120.12%0.22%0.29%0.30%0.36%0.42%0.51%
01/10/20120.08%0.16%0.33%0.28%0.30%0.40%0.41%
01/11/20120.09%0.16%0.27%0.31%0.30%0.46%0.43%
01/12/20120.12%0.17%0.24%0.30%0.33%0.47%0.51%
01/01/20130.09%0.18%0.28%0.27%0.24%0.37%0.35%
01/02/20130.09%0.14%0.27%0.26%0.22%0.35%0.36%
01/03/20130.15%0.21%0.32%0.34%0.24%0.35%0.36%
01/04/20130.10%0.17%0.33%0.17%0.26%0.34%0.58%
01/05/20130.09%0.13%0.24%0.14%0.25%0.31%0.62%
01/06/20130.14%0.16%0.21%0.24%0.32%0.27%0.55%
01/07/20130.09%0.11%0.17%0.16%0.21%0.19%0.43%
01/08/20130.09%0.12%0.13%0.12%0.17%0.17%0.32%
01/09/20130.09%0.10%0.14%0.15%0.21%0.15%0.32%
01/10/20130.08%0.09%0.13%0.15%0.17%0.26%0.46%
01/11/20130.09%0.11%0.15%0.16%0.16%0.25%0.34%
01/12/20130.09%0.11%0.14%0.17%0.17%0.24%0.33%
01/01/20140.08%0.12%0.20%0.18%0.18%0.29%0.22%
01/02/20140.11%0.18%0.21%0.21%0.22%0.27%0.28%
01/03/20140.11%0.15%0.18%0.19%0.19%0.30%0.26%
01/04/20140.14%0.23%0.21%0.19%0.34%0.37%0.54%
01/05/20140.12%0.20%0.30%0.17%0.38%0.31%0.43%
01/06/20140.16%0.25%0.29%0.24%0.26%0.35%0.60%
01/07/20140.21%0.36%0.26%0.24%0.29%0.31%0.53%
01/08/20140.19%0.21%0.24%0.23%0.25%0.24%0.26%
01/09/20140.17%0.19%0.20%0.20%0.34%0.28%0.31%
01/10/20140.18%0.17%0.19%0.25%0.33%0.27%0.37%
01/11/20140.17%0.18%0.18%0.25%0.27%0.34%0.36%
01/12/20140.12%0.16%0.17%0.27%0.25%0.25%0.29%
01/01/20150.17%0.26%0.35%0.35%0.31%0.44%0.38%
01/02/20150.13%0.22%0.26%0.28%0.35%0.45%0.39%
01/03/20150.15%0.20%0.23%0.24%0.21%0.36%0.36%
01/04/20150.26%0.22%0.24%0.25%0.31%0.35%0.55%
01/05/20150.13%0.18%0.26%0.20%0.31%0.27%0.48%
01/06/20150.24%0.22%0.24%0.25%0.31%0.33%0.44%
01/07/20150.13%0.20%0.19%0.18%0.20%0.24%0.37%
01/08/20150.11%0.16%0.20%0.18%0.24%0.32%0.36%
01/09/20150.14%0.13%0.15%0.15%0.20%0.23%0.33%
01/10/20150.21%0.12%0.17%0.19%0.17%0.24%0.33%
01/11/20150.19%0.18%0.18%0.22%0.19%0.34%0.49%
01/12/20150.23%0.16%0.20%0.27%0.22%0.43%0.47%
01/01/20160.22%0.23%0.28%0.28%0.27%0.36%0.36%
01/02/20160.20%0.32%0.42%0.42%0.35%0.43%0.51%
01/03/20160.18%0.22%0.32%0.31%0.31%0.45%0.38%
01/04/20160.27%0.27%0.34%0.31%0.40%0.44%0.58%
01/05/20160.14%0.24%0.32%0.31%0.38%0.44%0.54%
01/06/20160.23%0.20%0.29%0.30%0.32%0.45%0.60%
01/07/20160.21%0.16%0.23%0.22%0.32%0.32%0.49%
01/08/20160.24%0.28%0.34%0.32%0.36%0.35%0.50%
01/09/20160.34%0.37%0.42%0.40%0.51%0.61%0.71%
01/10/20160.15%0.22%0.28%0.38%0.36%0.50%0.54%
01/11/20160.18%0.16%0.25%0.35%0.34%0.44%0.45%
01/12/20160.18%0.15%0.21%0.24%0.30%0.57%0.63%
01/01/20170.17%0.24%0.26%0.27%0.27%0.37%0.48%
01/02/20170.13%0.16%0.25%0.26%0.29%0.37%0.43%
01/03/20170.11%0.13%0.21%0.24%0.25%0.37%0.38%
01/04/20170.26%0.14%0.28%0.17%0.28%0.31%0.58%
01/05/20170.20%0.14%0.24%0.17%0.24%0.34%0.52%
01/06/20170.24%0.11%0.19%0.17%0.24%0.24%0.34%
01/07/20170.14%0.11%0.13%0.13%0.15%0.29%0.34%
01/08/20170.15%0.12%0.15%0.14%0.32%0.27%0.49%
01/09/20170.13%0.10%0.13%0.15%0.23%0.31%0.42%
01/10/20170.11%0.18%0.16%0.21%0.25%0.41%0.39%
01/11/20170.07%0.10%0.16%0.22%0.25%0.34%0.33%
01/12/20170.17%0.17%0.23%0.31%0.21%0.45%0.48%
01/01/20180.09%0.19%0.19%0.21%0.17%0.26%0.27%
01/02/20180.10%0.14%0.21%0.22%0.21%0.33%0.27%
01/03/20180.18%0.15%0.21%0.23%0.25%0.36%0.44%
01/04/20180.16%0.15%0.21%0.24%0.32%0.35%0.53%
01/05/20180.17%0.15%0.15%0.15%0.30%0.27%0.56%
01/06/20180.13%0.14%0.16%0.18%0.34%0.30%0.62%
01/07/20180.13%0.13%0.16%0.14%0.23%0.32%0.46%
01/08/20180.10%0.12%0.14%0.13%0.18%0.24%0.55%
01/09/20180.19%0.13%0.19%0.19%0.25%0.27%0.56%
01/10/20180.14%0.14%0.27%0.31%0.30%0.36%0.34%
01/11/20180.09%0.18%0.29%0.21%0.24%0.40%0.60%
01/12/20180.24%0.23%0.27%0.32%0.32%0.48%0.56%
01/01/20190.08%0.16%0.27%0.26%0.26%0.41%0.48%
01/02/20190.11%0.15%0.30%0.28%0.24%0.41%0.44%
01/03/20190.17%0.15%0.20%0.23%0.17%0.36%0.27%

More information

Gas bid offer spreads: At-a-glance summary

Bid-offer spreads in the GB gas market are low by international standards, indicating that it is relatively easy to trade in the GB gas market.

Bid-offer spreads across a range of different contracts have tightened since 2010.

Relevance and further information

The bid-offer spread is one indicator of market liquidity. It is the difference between the best bid to buy and the best offer to sell. Tighter spreads suggest a more liquid market and robust pricing.

Liquidity is an important feature of mature markets, often reflecting a large number of buyers and sellers. Liquid markets also facilitate new entry by making it easier to buy and sell gas at a fair price. For example, in a liquid market a new supplier can more easily enter the market and buy the gas they need to cover their consumers’ demand whilst also having confidence in the price they are paying for that gas. 

Methodology

The bid-offer spread is calculated by subtracting the bid price from the offer price and then dividing by the offer price. It is them multiplied by 100 to give a percentage. 

Spreads are based on over-the-counter trading and are assessed by using ICIS’s price assessment.

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Chart

Source: Ofgem calculations using data from ICIS .

Information correct as of: July 2019

The chart shows summer-winter spreads for the GB gas market. The summer-winter spread is the difference between the gas price in summer compared to the following winter price.

Policy Areas:

  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Gas summer-winter spreads at the National Balancing Point (GB)
Month beginning2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21
01/04/200412.111.17
01/05/200412.210.72
01/06/200412.2910.52
01/07/200413.5110.6
01/08/200414.2111.04
01/09/200415.7412.21
01/10/200419.5612.41
01/11/200418.2511.53
01/12/200417.5412.44
01/01/200520.5612.54
01/02/200522.5612.95
01/03/200527.3114.99
01/04/200518.9511.43
01/05/200522.9315.94
01/06/200528.6221.61
01/07/200535.123.67
01/08/200529.4217.95
01/09/200527.6618.64
01/10/200525.0719
01/11/200531.2222.18
01/12/200538.3328.45
01/01/200642.5731.41
01/02/200636.127.45
01/03/200641.1828.4
01/04/200647.4431.2726.7
01/05/200630.9325.98
01/06/200629.0924.08
01/07/200625.4419.99
01/08/200623.7316.36
01/09/200622.4314.78
01/10/200622.0314.88
01/11/200619.5714.57
01/12/200621.5515.3
01/01/200720.8213.69
01/02/200722.4213.01
01/03/200728.7416.04
01/04/200731.211714.4
01/05/200718.6715.22
01/06/200718.314.94
01/07/200716.9114.41
01/08/200715.1812.79
01/09/200714.3612.09
01/10/200713.6810.88
01/11/200713.8910.8
01/12/200714.8611.35
01/01/200816.7612.64
01/02/200817.5814.17
01/03/200817.9315.77
01/04/200815.5912.75
01/05/200815.2413.58
01/06/200817.3712.87
01/07/200819.7713.73
01/08/200821.5315.88
01/09/200820.5116.81
01/10/200818.616.78
01/11/200818.5516.11
01/12/200817.8915.09
01/01/200918.0715.54
01/02/200920.1616.29
01/03/200924.2218.09
01/04/200921.1917.21
01/05/200920.117
01/06/200919.6416.05
01/07/200919.4815.8
01/08/200921.2316.43
01/09/200918.814.21
01/10/200919.8315.25
01/11/200918.5114.93
01/12/200919.2413.75
01/01/201017.6214.09
01/02/201015.1213.86
01/03/201013.0312.39
01/04/201010.8712.2112.02
01/05/201012.3411.71
01/06/201012.0611.54
01/07/201010.910.77
01/08/201010.689.6
01/09/201010.839.61
01/10/201010.739.93
01/11/201010.128.99
01/12/20108.928.52
01/01/20118.737.8
01/02/20119.677.76
01/03/201111.28.38
01/04/20119.279.38
01/05/20119.349.58
01/06/20119.889.71
01/07/201111.3310.23
01/08/201111.9110.14
01/09/201111.349.65
01/10/2011129.59
01/11/201113.4810.33
01/12/201114.5411.33
01/01/201215.7311.98
01/02/201216.2512.72
01/03/201216.6913.18
01/04/201216.112.7311.46
01/05/201212.3511.12
01/06/201211.2710.17
01/07/201210.839.82
01/08/201211.689.78
01/09/201211.199.56
01/10/201210.549.51
01/11/20129.949.72
01/12/201210.169.78
01/01/201310.039.51
01/02/20138.629.02
01/03/20137.969.15
01/04/20137.288.588.25
01/05/20138.347.81
01/06/20138.297.93
01/07/20137.918.14
01/08/20137.548.01
01/09/20137.628.06
01/10/20137.17.88
01/11/20137.087.65
01/12/20137.777.93
01/01/20148.247.99
01/02/20149.898.38
01/03/201411.199.18
01/04/20149.538.6
01/05/20149.918.69
01/06/201410.188.9
01/07/201410.848.95
01/08/201410.259.63
01/09/201410.419.37
01/10/201410.099.01
01/11/20149.278.65
01/12/20148.318.35
01/01/20157.98.61
01/02/20158.028.72
01/03/20157.757.88
01/04/20157.677.06
01/05/20157.97.25
01/06/20157.897.16
01/07/20157.266.84
01/08/20156.816.02
01/09/20156.465.84
01/10/20156.65.85
01/11/20154.794.43
01/12/20155.564.78
01/01/20165.684.84
01/02/20167.035.3
01/03/20167.15.56
01/04/20166.125.51
01/05/20165.644.91
01/06/20165.615.07
01/07/20166.535.58
01/08/20166.445.69
01/09/20166.235.73
01/10/20166.475.84
01/11/20166.135.79
01/12/20166.935.95
01/01/20176.335.88
01/02/20176.896.68
01/03/20177.887.95
01/04/20178.077.73
01/05/20177.867.7
01/06/20178.497.97
01/07/20179.328.87
01/08/20179.39.2
01/09/20179.349.05
01/10/20179.229.2
01/11/20179.259.44
01/12/20179.9810.67
01/01/201810.6810.66
01/02/20189.8110.49
01/03/20189.6210.78
01/04/201810.7410.8
01/05/201810.610.93
01/06/20189.8510.61
01/07/20189.910.64
01/08/20189.5410.62
01/09/20189.1310.39
01/10/20189.8410.75
01/11/20189.9610.23
01/12/20189.819.86
01/01/201911.310.2
01/02/201914.810.8
01/03/201916.011.4

More information

Gas summer-winter spreads: At-a-glance summary

Summer-winter spreads have fallen significantly over the past decade and continue to remain low. The spreads for 2019-20 and 2020-21 are still low by historical standards.These lower spreads are at least partly because of increased imports from other capacity. Much of our new import capacity is able to operate flexibly. It can often be a substitute for storage in being able to respond  dynamically to variations in price.

Relevance and further information

The summer-winter spread is an important indicator of trends in the profitability of long-range or seasonal gas storage. This is because gas storage facilities generally make money by injecting gas when the price is low (i.e. in summer) and withdrawing it when the price is high (i.e. in winter).

Methodology

The summer-winter spread is calculated by subtracting the average contract price of quarters two and three from the contract price of the following quarter one in a given year.

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Chart

Source: Six large suppliers.

Information correct as of: July 2019

This chart shows the proportion of monthly internal switches for domestic gas and electricity customer accounts for the six large suppliers. As a benchmark, the chart also shows monthly external switching rates (ie to another supplier) for the whole market.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Large suppliers: Internal and external switching rate by fuel type (GB)
Electricity total internal switching rateGas total internal switching rateElectricity total external switching rateGas total external switching rateElectricity internal switching rate by tariffGas internal switching rate by tariff
Nov-145.03%5.70%0.89%1.03%2.34%2.77%
Dec-144.21%4.75%1.13%1.19%1.86%2.14%
Jan-154.78%5.61%0.69%0.74%2.91%3.54%
Feb-155.22%5.96%0.94%1.10%2.89%3.34%
Mar-155.26%5.94%1.38%1.45%3.40%3.93%
Apr-155.41%6.21%0.99%1.02%2.70%3.15%
May-153.84%4.26%0.97%0.94%1.69%1.89%
Jun-153.14%3.38%0.83%0.83%1.61%1.75%
Jul-153.34%3.64%0.86%0.91%1.82%2.01%
Aug-153.95%4.29%0.91%0.93%1.76%1.89%
Sep-153.50%3.80%1.01%1.06%1.98%2.19%
Oct-153.78%4.15%1.26%1.31%2.02%2.24%
Nov-153.92%4.25%1.24%1.30%2.10%2.31%
Dec-153.31%3.55%1.11%1.15%1.67%1.76%
Jan-164.78%5.39%0.88%0.90%3.00%3.46%
Feb-165.00%5.54%1.40%1.45%3.15%3.53%
Mar-164.88%5.40%1.63%1.72%2.72%3.08%
Apr-164.40%4.80%1.38%1.30%2.28%2.56%
May-163.82%4.23%1.24%1.24%2.12%2.37%
Jun-164.43%4.82%1.20%1.20%2.28%2.48%
Jul-164.26%4.59%1.09%1.05%1.95%2.07%
Aug-162.82%2.98%1.11%0.99%1.55%1.65%
Sep-163.90%6.26%1.25%1.29%1.99%2.09%
Oct-165.10%5.48%1.74%1.82%2.12%2.23%
Nov-164.45%4.85%1.38%1.41%2.05%2.25%
Dec-163.14%3.41%1.51%1.51%1.33%1.47%
Jan-174.33%4.81%1.14%1.14%2.18%2.46%
Feb-175.46%6.02%1.42%1.40%2.93%3.28%
Mar-174.70%5.08%1.83%1.84%2.60%2.84%
Apr-174.42%4.87%1.60%1.55%2.59%2.86%
May-174.16%4.51%1.47%1.45%1.97%2.07%
Jun-173.75%4.09%1.35%1.37%1.81%2.02%
Jul-173.60%3.89%1.25%1.33%1.91%2.11%
Aug-174.07%4.28%1.47%1.51%1.67%1.86%
Sep-173.92%4.02%1.85%1.96%1.68%1.89%
Oct-174.06%4.40%1.89%1.99%1.87%2.11%
Nov-173.94%4.27%1.56%1.62%2.01%2.22%
Dec-174.09%4.44%1.36%1.40%1.52%1.65%
Jan-183.84%4.15%1.14%1.09%1.95%2.12%
Feb-185.53%5.77%1.50%1.50%3.69%3.84%
Mar-184.65%4.99%1.57%1.61%2.63%2.87%
Apr-186.26%6.65%1.58%1.60%2.90%3.03%
May-185.40%5.91%1.64%1.72%1.86%2.06%
Jun-185.71%6.01%1.61%1.67%3.18%3.34%
Jul-185.22%5.75%1.56%1.57%2.31%2.46%
Aug-185.34%5.70%1.65%1.69%3.14%3.29%
Sep-186.80%7.51%1.85%1.86%2.57%2.80%
Oct-184.51%4.92%1.97%2.01%2.57%2.80%
Nov-184.03%4.32%1.63%1.63%2.08%2.23%
Dec-183.21%3.33%1.37%1.45%1.62%1.62%
Jan-194.09%4.42%1.27%1.25%1.68%1.80%
Feb-194.63%4.97%1.53%1.49%2.20%2.33%
Mar-195.68%6.05%2.06%2.07%3.17%3.31%

More information

At-a-glance summary

Internal switching rates among the six large suppliers have been consistently higher than external switching rates, with regular seasonal spikes in Spring and Autumn.

There was a break in the usual seasonal fall in both internal and external switching rates in Q2 2018. There was a large increase in the internal switching rate for both electricity and gas. The internal and external switching rates remained high in Q3 2018, relative to previous quarters. They then fell in Q4 2018 to levels below the corresponding rates in the previous year. In Q1 2019, both internal and external switching rates increased again and reached higher values than in Q1 2018.

Relevance and further information

Together, internal and external switching rates provide a more comprehensive indicator of how engaged consumers are in the domestic retail energy market.

To note, we also publish monthly switching numbers separately. The two sets of data use different sources, and run to different timescales.

Methodology 

Internal total switching refers to a customer changing tariff, payment method or account management (online/offline) with their existing supplier. 

Internal tariff switching only includes tariff changes that, as a minimum, represent ‘active choices’. For example, the observed switch from a ‘dead’ tariff or an existing fixed tariff to a default standard variable tariff may not reflect an active choice and is not included in the internal tariff switching rate.

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Chart

Source: ICIS data & Ofgem calculations.

Information correct as of: July 2019

This chart shows the monthly average of volatility for GB gas, electricity baseload and electricity peakload prices based on Day-ahead contracts.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets
  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Price volatility of gas and electricity by month: Day-ahead contracts (GB)
Month beginningElectricity (baseload)Electricity (peakload)Gas
01/01/200399%643%332%
01/02/2003102%635%313%
01/03/200356%232%158%
01/04/200338%135%128%
01/05/200340%177%141%
01/06/200347%216%192%
01/07/2003116%531%111%
01/08/2003159%687%141%
01/09/200384%424%210%
01/10/200356%323%194%
01/11/200360%334%135%
01/12/200377%484%125%
01/01/200490%407%256%
01/02/200494%452%444%
01/03/200439%127%113%
01/04/200428%118%105%
01/05/200430%162%115%
01/06/200442%228%67%
01/07/200435%169%58%
01/08/200418%105%70%
01/09/200418%125%100%
01/10/200443%144%126%
01/11/200456%238%133%
01/12/200442%211%119%
01/01/200546%231%131%
01/02/200537%167%126%
01/03/200581%319%416%
01/04/200532%153%160%
01/05/200517%72%93%
01/06/200526%124%135%
01/07/200546%279%126%
01/08/200517%106%92%
01/09/200529%146%89%
01/10/200533%176%103%
01/11/200550%194%226%
01/12/200579%338%294%
01/01/200670%282%209%
01/02/200659%205%205%
01/03/2006114%436%389%
01/04/200681%331%291%
01/05/200623%94%121%
01/06/200629%145%219%
01/07/200665%302%182%
01/08/200690%444%90%
01/09/200638%190%105%
01/10/200648%227%567%
01/11/200672%297%217%
01/12/200687%328%183%
01/01/200763%294%154%
01/02/200741%194%120%
01/03/200730%154%140%
01/04/200733%167%86%
01/05/200742%219%106%
01/06/200753%290%84%
01/07/200740%181%107%
01/08/200733%129%95%
01/09/200744%172%127%
01/10/200775%248%122%
01/11/200792%413%113%
01/12/200777%363%91%
01/01/200861%266%92%
01/02/200820%102%50%
01/03/200815%70%49%
01/04/200831%156%41%
01/05/200824%111%78%
01/06/200843%234%48%
01/07/200843%203%75%
01/08/200833%160%212%
01/09/200834%149%146%
01/10/200841%156%105%
01/11/200848%212%144%
01/12/200860%277%98%
01/01/200960%275%110%
01/02/200935%151%100%
01/03/200923%98%87%
01/04/200916%66%96%
01/05/200928%102%71%
01/06/200931%109%82%
01/07/200931%112%68%
01/08/200918%65%81%
01/09/200928%111%203%
01/10/200921%92%266%
01/11/200918%93%106%
01/12/200922%89%66%
01/01/201031%127%141%
01/02/201020%50%99%
01/03/201010%42%60%
01/04/201013%51%75%
01/05/201020%77%113%
01/06/201016%60%73%
01/07/201014%59%55%
01/08/201011%52%49%
01/09/20108%34%72%
01/10/201013%47%83%
01/11/201014%56%42%
01/12/201051%239%49%
01/01/201123%112%40%
01/02/20118%30%38%
01/03/201112%37%31%
01/04/201113%40%53%
01/05/20116%26%55%
01/06/20116%26%22%
01/07/20116%31%22%
01/08/20118%32%24%
01/09/201112%48%66%
01/10/201113%65%86%
01/11/201114%51%48%
01/12/20119%44%34%
01/01/201212%43%36%
01/02/201225%108%144%
01/03/201215%70%70%
01/04/201214%50%49%
01/05/201211%42%29%
01/06/201211%54%29%
01/07/201210%39%28%
01/08/20128%34%29%
01/09/201210%34%30%
01/10/201212%43%25%
01/11/201221%87%24%
01/12/201220%70%20%
01/01/201320%80%32%
01/02/201320%79%32%
01/03/201337%125%87%
01/04/201333%119%105%
01/05/201314%42%25%
01/06/201313%44%35%
01/07/201313%45%46%
01/08/201311%29%18%
01/09/201313%35%15%
01/10/201314%51%21%
01/11/201320%75%33%
01/12/201321%73%20%
01/01/201421%77%17%
01/02/201416%60%19%
01/03/201419%53%35%
01/04/201415%47%33%
01/05/201412%41%30%
01/06/201410%35%42%
01/07/201412%53%43%
01/08/201412%53%47%
01/09/201418%74%51%
01/10/201423%89%41%
01/11/201442%187%50%
01/12/201426%108%26%
01/01/201528%90%36%
01/02/201524%97%39%
01/03/201518%74%38%
01/04/201517%51%27%
01/05/201517%48%28%
01/06/201517%50%28%
01/07/201514%47%22%
01/08/201512%37%31%
01/09/201511%41%28%
01/10/201511%43%24%
01/11/201517%64%36%
01/12/201523%71%34%
01/01/201629%115%39%
01/02/201630%149%39%
01/03/201633%170%25%
01/04/201628%121%27%
01/05/201624%117%58%
01/06/201621%96%39%
01/07/201624%104%32%
01/08/201626%126%43%
01/09/2016151%495%131%
01/10/2016182%663%87%
01/11/2016141%638%43%
01/12/201685%425%41%
01/01/201730%167%54%
01/02/201718%89%52%
01/03/201717%79%30%
01/04/201717%69%25%
01/05/201723%126%35%
01/06/201742%189%79%
01/07/201782%371%77%
01/08/201732%130%42%
01/09/201722%100%30%
01/10/201726%94%64%
01/11/201719%94%28%
01/12/201721%82%52%
01/01/201821%81%42%
01/02/201816%76%47%
01/03/201867%248%478%
01/04/201829%128%83%
01/05/201818%95%33%
01/06/201817%66%44%
01/07/201817%71%36%
01/08/201810%54%24%
01/09/201813%63%33%
01/10/201818%58%50%
01/11/201819%81%49%
01/12/201829%134%43%
01/01/201923%104%54%
01/02/201927%115%34%
01/03/201913%54%29%

More information

Price volatility of gas and electricity (Day-ahead contracts): At-a-glance summary

The volatility of day-ahead gas and power prices has been generally decreasing in recent years. Volatility for both gas and power remained low over the course of 2015 and the first half of 2016, but increased during winter 2016/17.

A sharp increase in the average of volatility for GB gas occured in March 2018, with record high gas prices due to both high demand and supply issues: gas demand reached the highest level in seven years and there was a series of unplanned outages across GB supply infrastructure that increased the gas price further. Since May 2018 volatility for both gas and electricity has remained low and stable, hovering between 24% to 50% for gas, and 10% and 29% for electricity.

Relevance and further information

Price volatility is an important market indicator for a range of reasons. For example:

  • Companies with capacity that can flexibly increase or decrease their supply of gas or electricity can profit from high volatility by increasing output when prices are high and decreasing output when prices are low. Such companies include gas storage facilities or conventional coal and gas-fired power stations.
  • High levels of volatility can challenge smaller companies where they are less able to access credit and collateral.

Methodology

  • The monthly calculation takes the logarithmical differences of daily average prices across two consecutive trading days. These are used to calculate the relative standard deviation on a rolling monthly basis (21 trading days).
  • To show the data in annual terms, the value obtained is multiplied by the square root of the total number of trading days in a year (252 trading days).
  • Volatility values are usually expressed as a percentage, so the annual value is finally multiplied by 100.
  • All volatility values for a given month are then averaged together to get a single monthly data point.
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Prepayment price cap and prices since January 2016 (GB).

Source: Energylinx (Until May 2017) & Energyhelpline (June 2017 onwards).

Information correct as of: September 2019

This chart compares trends in prices since 2016 for a dual fuel customer paying prepayment. It shows both the market cheapest tariffs and average standard variable tariffs (SVT) for this payment method. The values are calculated for a customer with typical energy use.

From February 2017 the prices shown in the chart, including the level of the prepayment price cap, are calculated using the latest 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
  • Electricity - wholesale markets
  • Gas - retail markets
  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Prepayment price cap and prices since January 2016 (GB)
DateSVT - prepayment (market average)Cheapest tariff - prepayment (all suppliers)Prepayment price cap
28/12/2015 1,163.44 1,055.61
28/01/2016 1,163.18 1,055.61
28/02/2016 1,158.61 1,054.20
28/03/2016 1,138.39 1,051.22
28/04/2016 1,131.32 1,030.27
28/05/2016 1,131.32 1,017.61
28/06/2016 1,131.32 985.97
28/07/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/08/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/09/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/10/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/11/2016 1,122.72 985.97
28/12/2016 1,122.72 985.97
28/01/2017 1,115.77 985.97
28/02/2017 1,061.14 970.67
28/03/2017 1,059.99 970.67
28/04/2017 1,032.30 970.67 1,050.35
28/05/2017 1,032.30 979.27 1,050.35
28/06/2017 1,032.30 979.27 1,050.35
28/07/2017 1,032.69 979.27 1,050.35
28/08/2017 1,031.31 979.27 1,050.35
28/09/2017 1,034.46 979.27 1,050.35
28/10/2017 1,030.60 978.04 1,031.27
28/11/2017 1,030.60 978.04 1,031.27
28/12/2017 1,030.60 957.12 1,031.27
28/01/2018 1,030.72 960.06 1,031.27
28/02/2018 1,030.72 945.76 1,031.27
28/03/2018 1,030.85 945.76 1,031.27
28/04/2018 1,079.09 946.63 1,088.55
28/05/2018 1,086.20 946.63 1,088.55
28/06/2018 1,086.19 946.63 1,088.55
28/07/2018 1,086.08 946.63 1,088.55
28/08/2018 1,086.06 946.54 1,088.55
28/09/2018 1,086.06 983.86 1,088.55
28/10/2018 1,135.42 983.86 1,135.99
28/11/2018 1,135.42 983.86 1,135.99
28/12/2018 1,135.42 983.86 1,135.99
28/01/2019 1,135.23 1,016.48 1,135.99
28/02/2019 1,135.23 1,023.39 1,135.99
28/03/2019 1,135.23 1,023.39 1,135.99
28/04/2019 1,241.44 1,023.39 1,242.07
28/05/2019 1,241.44 1,052.46 1,242.07
28/06/2019 1,241.44 1,052.46 1,242.07
28/07/20191,241.521,052.46 1,242.07
28/08/20191,241.521,052.461,242.07
28/09/20191,242.07

More information

At-a-glance summary

In April 2017, the prepayment price cap came into force, limiting the amount that suppliers can charge their prepayment customers. These customers tend to be unable to access the cheapest deals and are also more likely to be in vulnerable circumstances.

The cheapest prepayment tariffs available in the market have remained below the average SVT for a prepayment customer following the introduction of the prepayment price cap. This differential between the average SVT and the cheapest prepayment tariff remained at £189 between July and August 2019.

On 7 August 2019 we announced the updated Prepayment meter cap for this winter period, which has fallen by £25, to £1,217. This will enter into effect on 1 October 2019. Any changes in suppliers’ tariff prices to adjust to the new cap level will be reflected in future indicators’ updates.

On 1 April 2019, the level of the prepayment price cap increased from £1,136 to £1,242 for a dual fuel customer who uses a typical amount of energy. This increase was mainly due to higher wholesale energy costs and network costs.. For more information on the latest updates, see our chart Breakdown of the prepayment price cap.

Relevance and further information

This chart helps us track the differential between the average prepayment SVT and the market cheapest PPM tariff price a customer will pay if they use prepayment to pay their energy bills. Both prices are compared with the prepayment price cap that currently apply to all prepayment customers, excluding those on ‘interoperable’ smart meters.

Customers who get the Government’s Warm Home Discount (WHD) and are on a standard variable or default tariff were protected by a ‘safeguard tariff’ set at the level of the prepayment price cap until the end of 2018, after which they were transferred to the default tariff price cap. The default tariff price cap came into effect on 1 January 2019, limiting the amount that suppliers can charge customers on default tariffs.

The default tariff cap has different levels set to reflect how customers pay, where they live and the type of energy meter they have. When transferred, WHD customers will be placed on the cheaper default cap level set for direct debit payment methods – it won’t matter how they pay.

You can find further information on energy price caps here.

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).  
  • All prices shown are for a dual fuel customer (i.e. where a customer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier).  
  • The market average SVTs are based on the prices of the 12 largest suppliers in the prepayment segment. We have weighted the SVT of each supplier using an estimate of their total share of all prepayment accounts (for prepayment). We update the weightings every six months in January and July to reflect customer numbers four months prior to publication. The time lag is due to data availability. For example, the average given for 28 January 2017 uses weights based on customer numbers at 31 October 2016, while the average for 28 December 2016 uses weights at 31 March 2016.  
  • An SVT refers to a supply contract which is for a period of an indefinite length, and which does not have a fixed-term period applying to any of 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 will be moved onto an SVT until they have chosen a new one. A customer can also make an active choice to select an SVT. 
  • We exclude tariffs with limited availability – such as tariffs only available to new customers (also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs) or tariffs restricted to certain regions - when calculating the market cheapest tariff. This is so we give a representative picture of tariffs generally available to all customers across GB. 
  • We include tariffs available with ‘white label’ suppliers in our calculation of the cheapest tariffs. White label suppliers are organisations without supply licences that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using their own brand. 
  • The cheapest tariff shown on the chart includes any collective switching tariffs after the first quarter of 2016. 
  • In all cases, the prices shown are based on suppliers’ tariffs averaged across GB regions. The level of the prepayment price cap is based on the values published on our website, adjusted to reflect current typical domestic consumption values, and to include VAT.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Estimated network costs per domestic customer (GB average).

Source: Ofgem analysis of network companies’ cost information .

Information correct as of: March 2019

This chart shows our estimate of trends in the annual cost of the different components of network charges for a domestic customer with a fixed amount of consumption. Balancing Services Use of System charges are not included in the chart.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for a summary of the latest trends, an explanation of network costs and for further detail on how we calculate the costs.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - distribution
  • Electricity - transmission
  • Gas - distribution
  • Gas - transmission

Data Table

Estimated network costs per domestic customer (GB average)
Annualised network costsElectricity (transmission)Electricity (distribution)Gas (transmission)Gas (distribution)
Apr-1532969120
May-1532969120
Jun-1532969120
Jul-1532969120
Aug-1532969120
Sep-1532969120
Oct-1532969120
Nov-1532969120
Dec-1532969120
Jan-1632969120
Feb-1632969120
Mar-1632969120
Apr-16391019120
May-16391019120
Jun-16391019120
Jul-16391019120
Aug-16391019120
Sep-16391019120
Oct-16391019120
Nov-16391019120
Dec-16391019120
Jan-17391019120
Feb-17391019120
Mar-17391019120
Apr-1737909114
May-1737909114
Jun-1737909114
Jul-1737909114
Aug-1737909114
Sep-1737909114
Oct-1737909114
Nov-1737909114
Dec-1737909114
Jan-1837909114
Feb-1837909114
Mar-1837909114
Apr-1835859113
May-1835859113
Jun-1835859113
Jul-1835859113
Aug-1835859113
Sep-1835859113
Oct-1835859113
Nov-1835859113
Dec-1835859113
Jan-1935859113
Feb-1935859113
Mar-1935859113
Apr-19358710114
May-19358710114
Jun-19358710114
Jul-19358710114
Aug-19358710114
Sep-19358710114
Oct-19358710114
Nov-19358710114
Dec-19358710114
Jan-20358710114
Feb-20358710114
Mar-20358710114

More information

Estimated network costs per domestic customer: At-a-glance summary

  • The majority of network costs for a domestic customer are for the use of the gas and electricity distribution networks.
  • For a household whose consumption does not change, on average across GB network costs in 2019/20 will increase for gas distribution, electricity distribution, and gas transmission. For electricity transmission, costs compared to the previous charging year will rise broadly in line with inflation.
  • Actual costs will vary depending on where a customer lives, how much energy they use, and what type of meter they have.

What are network costs?

Suppliers are charged for the costs to build, maintain, improve and operate the energy networks. Most of the networks are owned by monopoly businesses. Therefore through regulation, we limit the revenue that these companies can recover from customer charges to run the networks.

The network charges paid by suppliers vary depending on where their customers live, what type of meter they have, when energy is used and how much energy they use. In total, these charges accounted for approximately a fifth of a dual fuel bill in 2019.

Different charges apply for the high voltage/pressure transmission networks (which take electricity and gas around Great Britain) and the lower voltage/pressure distribution networks, which connect customers to the overall networks.

As well as the charges to suppliers that are considered here, electricity generators and gas producers are also charged for their use of the networks. It is important to note that trends in network costs will therefore also affect supplier costs indirectly through wholesale prices.

Methodology

  • Network costs are calculated by combining charging information published by the network companies with assumptions about consumption and losses for domestic customers.
  • All costs are calculated for medium annual typical domestic consumption values of 12,000kWh for gas and 3,100kWh of electricity, which is held fixed across the charging years. The actual network costs a supplier incurs to serve a customer will depend on how much energy is used, the timing of its use as well as the charges that apply from one year to the next.
  • The costs shown are GB averages, calculated by taking a simple unweighted average of the tariffs that apply in different regions of the country.
  • The costs are expressed in nominal money (i.e. the amount of money a customer ‘pays over the counter’), rather than in real terms (i.e. after adjusting for inflation). For electricity, the costs reported are for a standard unrestricted meter.
  • Balancing Services Use of System charges are not included on the chart. These charges cover the cost of services used to balance the electricity system and internal system operator operating costs.

The methodology we use to calculate these charges is consistent with our methodology for the Default Tariff Cap. Further details on the calculations are available in our Default Tariff Cap publications.

Further information

You can find further information on the different components making up an energy bill at Understand your gas and electricity bill.

To see how the network fits together, visit The energy network: How it works for you.

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Chart tips: Click on titles in a chart legend to switch data series on and off. View and sort chart numbers using the chart’s ‘data table’ tab, or download data in a variety of formats including images using the menu buttonmenu button