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Chart

Source: Ofgem analysis of supplier data submissions.

Information correct as of: January 2018

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 (October 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 Gas2,122,71301,575,1152,854,952
SSE648,424324,709848,2071,546,202
E.ON1,317,8989,367809,0801,233,876
EDF1,391,4860738,141745,608
Scottish Power1,456,29260,009460,799549,872
Npower1,308,18514,764432,376737,549
First Utility630,8040151,67424,170
OVO440,8810139,78410,606
Utility Warehouse65,950157,208128,656118,653
Coop226,806091,62732,606

More information

At-a-glance summary

At October 2017, the proportion of domestic customer accounts on standard variable tariffs (‘SVT’) and paying by non-prepayment methods was 57% on average, split between those SVT accounts held for more than three years (34%) and those held for less than three years (23%). All other accounts were mainly on fixed tariffs (41%), 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 October 2017, based on the data for the larger 10 suppliers, was 62% 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 October 2017 around 17 million domestic energy accounts (13 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.  

For previous updates, please see our page here.

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 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.

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

Information correct as of: April 2018

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 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

Cheapest tariffs by payment method: Typical domestic dual fuel customer (GB)

DateLarge six suppliers (direct debit)Large six suppliers (standard credit)Large six suppliers (prepayment)Market (direct debit)Market (standard credit)Market (prepayment)
28/01/2012915.27976.71021.54906.56971.04969.61
28/02/2012886.18976.71021.54878.1971.04969.61
28/03/2012886.18976.71021.54878.1971.04969.61
28/04/2012895.69953.41021.54878.1953.4969.24
28/05/2012895.69953.41021.54878.1890.12969.24
28/06/2012895.69953.41021.54895.69953.41017.42
28/07/2012895.69953.41021.54875.93953.41017.42
28/08/2012899.1957.031021.54875.93957.031017.42
28/09/2012901.471020.711021.54875.93988.141017.42
28/10/2012906.171020.711069.39893.85988.141019.3
28/11/2012958.211020.711069.39909.59979.351045.64
28/12/2012990.71071.381133.19909.59979.351045.64
28/01/2013957.181037.21133.19909.59979.351045.64
28/02/2013957.181037.21133.19909.591037.21045.64
28/03/2013966.541046.571133.19909.591046.571045.64
28/04/2013966.541046.571133.19909.591046.571045.64
28/05/2013966.541046.571133.19962.43996.91045.64
28/06/2013966.541046.571133.19769.95996.91045.64
28/07/2013984.681075.511133.19769.95996.91045.64
28/08/2013971.771051.791133.19769.951051.791045.64
28/09/2013971.771051.791133.19769.951051.791045.64
28/10/20131011.81079.911133.19769.951070.991093.35
28/11/2013993.41058.151150.97769.951058.151093.35
28/12/20131033.471101.651178.61769.951101.651093.35
28/01/20141033.471101.651178.61975.211101.651172.77
28/02/20141033.971108.11178.61966.341108.11172.77
28/03/20141024.791117.271178.61964.311117.271171.39
28/04/20141000.381069.951178.61946.421069.951171.39
28/05/20141000.381069.951178.61944.551069.951171.39
28/06/20141000.381069.951170.86944.551069.951162.4
28/07/20141000.381069.951170.86944.951029.051162.4
28/08/20141000.381069.951170.86943.431038.881154.43
28/09/2014960.91030.951170.86942.271030.951154.43
28/10/2014953.41046.451170.86931.021024.451154.43
28/11/2014921.881003.791170.86914.511003.791154.43
28/12/2014916.211003.791170.86906.141003.791151.22
28/01/2015875.4945.461148.99871.26945.461148.99
28/02/2015839.28955.071148.90839.28950.351148.90
28/03/2015836.99907.241148.99836.99907.241116.99
28/04/2015834.57977.561141.64834.57950.631116.99
28/05/2015835.19905.441141.64830.56905.441116.99
28/06/2015835.71981.781122.97830.56940.901116.99
28/07/2015863.85981.781122.97830.56939.851116.99
28/08/2015876.03977.321128.54830.56940.271116.99
28/09/2015876.03963.771128.54830.56907.261100.94
28/10/2015803.00873.251128.54793.93844.041100.94
28/11/2015805.40950.751128.54787.05844.041055.61
28/12/2015850.52950.751102.20787.05844.041055.61
28/01/2016769.69839.941102.20765.00839.941055.61
28/02/2016738.38808.631092.26738.38808.631054.20
28/03/2016727.70797.761070.37727.70797.761051.22
28/04/2016723.93793.481070.37723.91793.481030.27
28/05/2016723.23877.121037.31723.23877.121017.61
28/06/2016723.23847.451037.31723.23847.45985.97
28/07/2016779.39904.971037.31758.31871.54985.97
28/08/2016801.37941.421043.54769.65871.54985.97
28/09/2016754.64839.151043.54744.30839.15985.97
28/10/2016803.54967.131043.54741.92829.42985.97
28/11/2016897.181002.631035.64790.02907.75985.97
28/12/2016951.511031.571035.64790.02923.48985.97
28/01/2017951.511031.571035.64833.71951.58985.97
28/02/2017928.481033.401015.43829.10935.19970.67
28/03/2017922.231016.741019.21829.10949.48970.67
28/04/2017923.551018.08994.53863.31946.43970.67
28/05/2017923.571018.08994.53826.52923.47979.27
28/06/2017923.571018.08994.53835.76923.23979.27
28/07/2017922.821017.33994.53829.91923.23979.27
28/08/2017910.051004.56988.90810.11923.47979.27
28/09/2017904.481051.43988.90826.73923.47979.27
28/10/2017897.981012.47988.90826.73943.35978.04
28/11/2017928.591100.89988.90826.73958.08978.04
28/12/2017973.041051.43988.90826.73958.08957.12
28/01/2018907.891051.43988.90820.11958.08960.06
28/02/2018900.981028.211028.21820.11958.08945.76
28/03/2018900.981074.651028.21810.11958.08945.76

More information

At-a-glance summary

Direct debit customers have traditionally been offered the cheapest tariffs, followed by standard credit customers and then those using prepayment meters. From April 2017, the same month the prepayment safeguard tariff was introduced, to March 2018 (with the exception of February 2018), the cheapest tariff for customers of the large six suppliers using prepayment meters has been below the cheapest tariff for standard credit customers of the large six suppliers.

For the market as a whole, the cheapest tariff for customers using prepayment meters was lower than the cheapest tariff for standard credit customers in three of the last four months

A prepayment safeguard tariff was introduced on 1 April 2017, limiting the amount that suppliers can charge their prepayment customers. We extended the safeguard tariff to a further one million vulnerable customers in receipt of the government’s Warm Home Discount on 2 February 2018. For more information on the impact of the safeguard tariff, please see here.

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 consumption values 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.

Information correct as of: April 2018

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 between January and March 2018.

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 Gas1101959814
SSE11211042814
E.ON1133948814
EDF1142994814
Scottish Power1147974814
RWE npower11661047814
First Utility1132913814
OVO1097937814
Utility Warehouse11251004814
Coop1158992814

More information

At-a-glance summary

In March 2018, the average standard variable tariff (‘SVT’) price for a domestic customer with one of the ten larger suppliers in the non-prepayment segment ranged between £1,097 and £1,166.

The cheapest deals from the ten large suppliers were all above the average market cheapest tariff of £814, ranging between £913 and £1,047. The average SVT price differentials in the period were between £78 and £218 relative to the ten large suppliers’ cheapest tariffs and between £283 and £352 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. 

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). 
  • 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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Chart

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

Information correct as of: April 2018

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 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.  

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 large suppliers)Average standard variable tariff (Other suppliers)Cheapest tariff (Six large suppliers)Cheapest tariff (All suppliers)Cheapest tariff (Basket)
28/01/20121020.161026.33915.27906.56947.56
28/02/20121000.761019.41886.18878.10930.29
28/03/2012997.251019.41886.18878.10936.54
28/04/2012997.251019.35895.69878.10937.68
28/05/2012997.251019.35895.69878.10929.78
28/06/2012997.251036.16895.69895.69945.53
28/07/2012997.251034.16895.69875.93928.99
28/08/2012997.251032.02899.10875.93924.85
28/09/2012997.251019.84901.47875.93931.04
28/10/20121009.001022.51906.17893.85956.00
28/11/20121030.781046.91958.21909.59997.71
28/12/20121061.801089.65990.70909.59994.59
28/01/20131074.421089.65957.18909.59990.81
28/02/20131074.421103.04957.18909.59994.56
28/03/20131074.421103.04966.54909.59995.50
28/04/20131074.421115.23966.54909.59988.37
28/05/20131074.431115.23966.54962.43997.77
28/06/20131074.431115.23966.54769.95967.26
28/07/20131074.451115.23984.68769.95974.82
28/08/20131074.451115.23971.77769.95988.47
28/09/20131074.451115.23971.77769.95979.55
28/10/20131074.451129.021011.80769.95995.67
28/11/20131105.941133.08993.40769.95992.26
28/12/20131138.951133.081033.47769.95997.00
28/01/20141145.841134.251033.47975.211013.73
28/02/20141134.091139.371033.97966.341014.19
28/03/20141128.101136.041024.79964.311016.25
28/04/20141128.101139.051000.38946.42995.26
28/05/20141128.101139.051000.38944.55995.13
28/06/20141128.101139.051000.38944.55992.88
28/07/20141128.101142.671000.38944.95976.39
28/08/20141128.101140.961000.38943.43978.98
28/09/20141128.101171.97960.90942.27972.34
28/10/20141128.101145.38953.40931.02960.15
28/11/20141128.101145.38921.88914.51947.94
28/12/20141128.101144.09916.21906.14929.69
28/01/20151124.331144.09875.40871.26895.39
28/02/20151106.651110.84839.28839.28881.39
28/03/20151106.651088.31836.99836.99892.38
28/04/20151106.651075.32834.57834.57878.56
28/05/20151102.281073.26835.19830.56877.12
28/06/20151102.281073.26835.71830.56871.21
28/07/20151102.281066.77863.85830.56867.88
28/08/20151098.031066.77876.03830.56868.79
28/09/20151098.031054.98876.03830.56858.62
28/10/20151098.031050.12803.00793.93823.00
28/11/20151098.031040.70805.40787.05810.84
28/12/20151098.031039.03850.52787.05803.86
28/01/20161098.031035.48769.69765.00785.04
28/02/20161092.691020.06738.38738.38755.65
28/03/20161071.441013.00727.70727.70756.05
28/04/20161065.97978.55723.91723.91751.58
28/05/20161065.97976.04723.23723.23742.71
28/06/20161065.97984.02723.23723.23751.36
28/07/20161065.97988.70779.39758.31779.72
28/08/20161065.97983.86801.37769.65789.25
28/09/20161065.97983.89754.64744.30777.00
28/10/20161065.97994.93803.54741.92786.41
28/11/20161065.971012.84897.18790.02859.23
28/12/20161065.971019.72951.51790.02872.16
28/01/20171061.061020.10951.51833.71881.11
28/02/20171081.271027.06928.48829.1869.79
28/03/20171109.481035.47922.23829.1873.38
28/04/20171122.281041.56923.55863.31874.62
28/05/20171122.281039.22923.57826.52861.76
28/06/20171122.281026.98923.57835.76852.58
28/07/20171122.281030.63922.82829.91844.94
28/08/20171122.281030.76910.05810.11839.30
28/09/20171134.951026.42904.48826.73837.66
28/10/20171134.951031.41897.98826.73854.69
28/11/20171134.951044.84928.59826.73846.77
28/12/20171134.951047.03973.04826.73859.50
28/01/20181134.951042.36907.89820.11848.32
28/02/20181134.951047.51900.89820.11848.65
28/03/20181134.951050.87900.89810.11862.08

More information

At-a-glance summary

In March 2018 the average price of SVTs offered by the six large suppliers for a typical dual fuel customer paying with direct debit was stable at £1,135 relative to February and the previous five months. Its differential relative to the market cheapest tariff increased to £325, as the market cheapest tariff fell by £10 to £810.

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 consumption values 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

Source: Six large suppliers.

Information correct as of: April 2018

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-175.11%5.51%1.83%1.84%2.91%3.19%
Apr-174.73%5.20%1.60%1.55%2.92%3.22%
May-174.46%4.78%1.47%1.45%2.23%2.33%
Jun-174.02%4.36%1.35%1.37%1.97%2.19%
Jul-173.76%4.04%1.25%1.33%2.15%2.37%
Aug-174.35%4.50%1.47%1.51%1.86%2.07%
Sep-174.24%4.31%1.85%1.96%1.85%2.07%
Oct-174.28%4.60%1.89%1.99%2.03%2.29%
Nov-174.16%4.48%1.56%1.62%2.17%2.40%
Dec-174.42%4.78%1.36%1.40%1.66%1.80%

More information

At-a-glance summary

In 2017, internal switching rates have been higher than external switching rates.  

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.

close

Chart

Source: Ofgem calculations using data from ICIS .

Information correct as of: April 2018

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 beginning2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20
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
01/10/20179.229.20
01/11/20179.259.44
01/12/20179.9810.67

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 are currently low by historical standards. These trends 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 by responding to variations in demand.

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

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: April 2018

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%

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. It measures the premium an urgent buyer must pay if it wants to buy and the discount an urgent seller must make if it wants 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 good 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: ICIS data & Ofgem calculations.

Information correct as of: April 2018

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%

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. This is consistent with a number of recent trends including the declining profitability of conventional flexible generation, the closure or mothballing of old gas and oil-fired plants, and low levels of investment in new flexible gas capacity.  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.

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

Price volatility is calculated to European Commission guidelines

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

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

Information correct as of: April 2018

This chart compares trends in prices since 2016 for a dual fuel customer paying by direct debit or prepayment. It shows both the market cheapest tariffs and average standard variable tariffs (SVT) for the two payment methods. 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 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
  • Electricity - wholesale markets
  • Gas - retail markets
  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Safeguard tariff and direct debit prices since January 2016 (GB)

DateSVT - direct debit (market average)SVT - prepayment (market average)Cheapest tariff - direct debit (all suppliers)Cheapest tariff - prepayment (all suppliers)Safeguard tariff (1 Apr to 30 Sep)
28/12/20151091.801162.90770.591055.61
28/01/20161091.211162.027651055.61
28/02/20161086.421157.54738.381054.2
28/03/20161067.281136.82727.451051.22
28/04/20161059.681129.69723.911030.27
28/05/20161059.681129.69723.231017.61
28/06/20161059.681129.69723.23985.97
28/07/20161059.561127.72758.31985.97
28/08/20161059.561127.72769.65985.97
28/09/20161059.561127.72744.3985.97
28/10/20161059.741127.72741.92985.97
28/11/20161059.741120.44790.02985.97
28/12/20161059.741120.44790.02985.97
28/01/20171057.191113.33833.71985.97
28/02/20171059.301060.05829.10970.67
28/03/20171088.781059.35829.10970.67
28/04/20171095.821033.07863.31970.671050.35
28/05/20171095.821033.07826.52979.271050.35
28/06/20171094.941033.07835.76979.271050.35
28/07/20171094.941033.52829.91979.271050.35
28/08/20171095.671032.23810.11979.271050.35
28/09/20171122.671035.17826.73979.271050.35
28/10/20171122.881030.92826.73978.041031.27
28/11/20171122.881030.92826.73978.041031.27
28/12/20171122.881030.92826.73957.121031.27
28/01/20181123.511031.00820.11960.061031.27
28/02/20181123.511031.00820.11945.761031.27
28/03/20181123.511031.00810.11945.761031.27
28/04/20181088.55

More information

At-a-glance summary

In April 2017, the new safeguard tariff 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 safeguard tariff. 

We extended the safeguard tariff to a further one million vulnerable customers in receipt of the government’s Warm Home Discount on 2 February 2018. These customers will initially make annualised savings of around £115 on average because suppliers have to cut their prices to at or below the level of the safeguard tariff.

From 1 April 2018, the level of the safeguard tariff rose from £1,031 to £1,089 for a dual fuel customer who uses a typical amount of energy. This increase is mainly due to higher wholesale energy costs and policy costs to support low carbon forms of electricity generation. See our chart for further details, Breakdown of the safeguard tariff.

This means that the savings for the vulnerable customers above will fall to around £66 a year from April. The bills of prepayment customers, which used to be amongst the highest in the market, are still expected to be around £35 lower than the current standard variable tariff (SVT) paid by direct debit customers.

Relevance and further information

This chart helps us track the differences between the price a customer will pay depending on if they use prepayment (where prices are capped) or direct debit to pay their energy bills.

You can find further information on the Safeguard tariff (or 'price cap') here. The cap lasts until 2020. By then we expect the smart meter roll-out to give prepay customers access to better deals.

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 10 largest suppliers in the direct debit and prepayment segments. We have weighted the SVT of each supplier using an estimate of their total share of all SVT customers (for direct debit), and 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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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: December 2017

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-14279410110
May-14279410110
Jun-14279410110
Jul-14279410110
Aug-14279410110
Sep-14279410110
Oct-14279410110
Nov-14279410110
Dec-14279410110
Jan-15279410110
Feb-15279410110
Mar-15279410110
Apr-1532879114
May-1532879114
Jun-1532879114
Jul-1532879114
Aug-1532879114
Sep-1532879114
Oct-1532879114
Nov-1532879114
Dec-1532879114
Jan-1632879114
Feb-1632879114
Mar-1632879114
Apr-1638939116
May-1638939116
Jun-1638939116
Jul-1638939116
Aug-1638939116
Sep-1638939116
Oct-1638939116
Nov-1638939116
Dec-1638939116
Jan-1738939116
Feb-1738939116
Mar-1738939116
Apr-1738869113
May-1738869113
Jun-1738869113
Jul-1738869113
Aug-1738869113
Sep-1738869113
Oct-1738869113
Nov-1738869113
Dec-1738869113
Jan-1838869113
Feb-1838869113
Mar-1838869113
Apr-1837839118
May-1837839118
Jun-1837839118
Jul-1837839118
Aug-1837839118
Sep-1837839118
Oct-1837839118
Nov-1837839118
Dec-1837839118
Jan-1937839118
Feb-1937839118
Mar-1937839118

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 we expect network costs in 2018/19 to increase for gas distribution, decrease for electricity distribution, and stay broadly static for transmission costs compared to the previous charging year.
  • 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 quarter of a dual fuel bill in 2016.

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 customer number weighted 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 Supplier Cost Index, and that used to set the value of the prepayment meter price cap. Further details on the calculations are available in our Supplier Cost Index methodology.

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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