Wholesale Market Indicators

In our monitoring of the wholesale energy market for gas and electricity, we collect and analyse a large range of data. Our wholesale indicators give a snapshot of this monitoring. They are derived from our monitoring framework which underpins our ongoing monitoring and annual assessment of the wholesale energy market in Great Britain. You can view the assessments in the related publications section below.

Wholesale highlights at July 2017

  • Following an increase at the end of 2016, wholesale energy prices fell and were less volatile in Q1 2017. See Wholesale Price Trends and Investment and Sustainability.
  • GB continues to receive its gas supplies from a diverse range of sources, including GB North Sea fields, Norway, LNG, interconnector flows and storage. See Security of Supply.
  • Coal’s share of the electricity generation mix in Q1 2017 remains low by historical standards. Gas’ share remained stable at 40%, while renewables contributed around 27% of the mix. See Security of supply.

Our interactive wholesale market indicators

Select from the below to view the indicators in detail and for an overview of our monitoring themes.

If you have feedback on the indicators, please contact us.

Wholesale price trends

The wholesale price of gas and electricity are key market outcomes that have a significant impact on retail bills. Understanding how and why wholesale prices have changed help us understand why retail bills have changed.

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Gas prices: Day-ahead contracts – monthly average (GB).

Source: ICIS.

Information correct as of: September 2017

This chart shows ‘Day-ahead’ gas prices at the GB gas hub (the National Balancing Point) for delivery the following working day. The data is averaged by month rather than by day and covers Q4 2009 to Q1 2017. Further information on wholesale prices can be found in our Wholesale Energy Markets in 2016 report.

The data comes from ICIS’s price assessment of over-the-counter trading through brokers. A full explanation of ICIS’s methodology is available on their website (see source link above).

Policy Areas:

  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Gas prices: Day-ahead contracts – monthly average (GB)

Month beginningPrice
01/10/200925.18
01/11/200926.99
01/12/200931.42
01/01/201039.77
01/02/201035.78
01/03/201032.14
01/04/201032.79
01/05/201039.49
01/06/201042.15
01/07/201045.94
01/08/201042.61
01/09/201040.77
01/10/201046
01/11/201049.66
01/12/201062.26
01/01/201155.98
01/02/201153.74
01/03/201160.39
01/04/201157.23
01/05/201157.01
01/06/201158.25
01/07/201155.09
01/08/201154.06
01/09/201153.64
01/10/201156.05
01/11/201158.15
01/12/201156.04
01/01/201254.43
01/02/201265.41
01/03/201258.44
01/04/201259.94
01/05/201257.01
01/06/201255.15
01/07/201255.6
01/08/201254.53
01/09/201260.45
01/10/201264.35
01/11/201265.63
01/12/201265.5
01/01/201366.83
01/02/201368.88
01/03/201386.57
01/04/201369.98
01/05/201366.14
01/06/201360.47
01/07/201365.23
01/08/201364.65
01/09/201365.71
01/10/201365.08
01/11/201368.29
01/12/201369.35
01/01/201465.1
01/02/201458.86
01/03/201456.53
01/04/201449.89
01/05/201445.33
01/06/201439.5
01/07/201437.51
01/08/201440.61
01/09/201448.43
01/10/201450.42
01/11/201454.84
01/12/201453.62
01/01/201546.1
01/02/201550.47
01/03/201547.23
01/04/201546.86
01/05/201544.09
01/06/201543.37
01/07/201543.47
01/08/201539.69
01/09/201541.04
01/10/201539.56
01/11/201535.9
01/12/201534.03
01/01/201632.05
01/02/201629.66
01/03/201629.6
01/04/201629.44
01/05/201630.41
01/06/201634.2
01/07/201634.3
01/08/201630.36
01/09/201628.36
01/10/201642.83
01/11/201648.12
01/12/201646.53
01/01/201753.39
01/02/201751.01
01/03/201741.02
01/04/201739.73
01/05/201739.29
01/06/201734.84

More information

Gas prices (Day-ahead contracts): At-a-glance summary

Day-ahead gas prices over the past couple of years have been on a broadly downward trend and in April 2016 reached their lowest levels since November 2009, below 30p/therm.

Relevance and further information

Day-ahead prices are a good indicator of the short-term price of gas in GB. However, Day-ahead prices are just one measure of the price of gas. Suppliers often buy most of their gas months or even years in advance of when it will be delivered. Therefore, Day-ahead prices may not necessarily reflect the price that suppliers will have paid for their gas.

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Chart

Source: ICIS.

Information correct as of: September 2017

This chart shows the price of electricity on the wholesale market in GB for delivery the next working day at a constant ‘baseload’ rate. The data is averaged by month rather than by day and covers around a six year time period. Further information on wholesale prices can be found in our Wholesale Energy Markets in 2016 report.

The data comes from ICIS’s price assessment of over-the-counter trading through brokers. A full explanation of ICIS’s methodology is available on their website (see source link above).

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets

Data Table

Electricity prices: Day-ahead baseload contracts – monthly average (GB)

Month beginningPrice
01/06/201042.18
01/07/201043.53
01/08/201039.95
01/09/201041.12
01/10/201043.5
01/11/201046.4
01/12/201058.03
01/01/201148.43
01/02/201146.47
01/03/201151.41
01/04/201150.88
01/05/201150.27
01/06/201150.82
01/07/201147.96
01/08/201147.36
01/09/201148.32
01/10/201146.83
01/11/201146.15
01/12/201143.54
01/01/201242.17
01/02/201249.1
01/03/201245.64
01/04/201245.91
01/05/201243.79
01/06/201242.24
01/07/201242.71
01/08/201241.21
01/09/201243.39
01/10/201247.6
01/11/201249
01/12/201249.76
01/01/201349.96
01/02/201351.44
01/03/201362.9
01/04/201351.3
01/05/201348.89
01/06/201347.31
01/07/201348.73
01/08/201347.31
01/09/201349.63
01/10/201348.22
01/11/201353.05
01/12/201350.81
01/01/201447.67
01/02/201445.15
01/03/201444.41
01/04/201441.77
01/05/201439.62
01/06/201436.67
01/07/201435.46
01/08/201437.95
01/09/201443.28
01/10/201444.81
01/11/201448.43
01/12/201443.96
01/01/201539.86
01/02/201542.86
01/03/201540.91
01/04/201543.97
01/05/201541.21
01/06/201541.66
01/07/201542.2
01/08/201540.86
01/09/201542.04
01/10/201540.29
01/11/201538.01
01/12/201535.07
01/01/201636.95
01/02/201633.85
01/03/201634.76
01/04/201634.37
01/05/201634.61
01/06/201637.51
01/07/201638.4
01/08/201636.51
01/09/201651.13
01/10/201656.03
01/11/201667.54
01/12/201649.87
01/01/201753.37
01/02/201749.49
01/03/201741.99
01/04/201742.10
01/05/201741.24
01/06/201739.68

More information

Electricity prices (Day-ahead, baseload contracts): At-a-glance summary

Electricity wholesale prices in GB over the past decade have largely been driven by changes in the gas price. This is because gas-fired generation is often the marginal source of supply and hence sets the electricity price. Changes in carbon prices have also influenced electricity prices in recent years.

Relevance and further information

Day-ahead prices are a good indicator of the short-term price of electricity in GB. However, Day-ahead prices are just one measure of the price of electricity. Suppliers will often buy most of their electricity months or even years in advance of when it will be delivered, so Day-ahead prices may not necessarily reflect the price that suppliers will have paid for their electricity.

The ‘baseload’ rate refers to a contract for electricity that is produced continually throughout the day and is distinct from ‘peak rates’ when electricity is bought/sold for consumption at peak times (7am to 7pm).  

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Security of supply

Ensuring there is sufficient gas or electricity to meet demand is a key outcome of the energy market. It provides consumers with certainty they can get heat and power when they require it, and helps drive economic activity.  

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Gas demand and supply source by month (GB).

Source: National Grid.

Information correct as of: July 2017

This chart shows monthly totals of gas supplies for the GB National Transmission System, broken down by the key different sources of supply. It also shows exports and storage injections.

Policy Areas:

  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Gas demand and supply source by month (GB)

Month beginningUKCSNorwayLNGIUKBBLStorageMoffatIUKStorage
01/10/20093.852.321.3400.230.12-0.51-0.6-0.32
01/11/20093.652.991.270.110.870.16-0.54-0.14-0.22
01/12/20094.083.351.670.481.050.87-0.630-0.21
01/01/20104.023.871.540.391.031.71-0.67-0.04-0.24
01/02/20103.683.551.330.130.881.19-0.59-0.07-0.13
01/03/20104.013.921.320.010.920.64-0.62-0.26-0.45
01/04/20103.772.791.7200.720.18-0.52-0.87-0.92
01/05/20103.822.811.5900.520.19-0.55-1.26-0.9
01/06/20103.053.050.9200.440.09-0.55-1.42-0.93
01/07/20103.22.090.9500.470.17-0.5-1.31-0.78
01/08/20102.951.841.3900.410.13-0.49-1.04-0.66
01/09/20103.111.421.4700.410.14-0.5-0.67-0.45
01/10/20103.542.911.6500.560.28-0.52-1.52-0.43
01/11/20103.463.261.790.090.890.71-0.62-0.34-0.34
01/12/20103.543.782.080.631.031.48-0.70-0.24
01/01/20113.593.072.430.310.960.81-0.65-0.01-0.36
01/02/20113.22.671.990.020.540.46-0.51-0.1-0.26
01/03/20113.42.852.460.040.210.37-0.57-0.12-0.69
01/04/20113.261.532.6800.490.14-0.52-1.24-1.07
01/05/20112.791.462.4800.50.18-0.5-1.12-0.77
01/06/20112.830.932.0200.370.09-0.48-0.88-0.61
01/07/20112.61.531.8600.360.06-0.5-1.02-0.7
01/08/20111.842.171.8100.310.21-0.51-1.34-0.35
01/09/20112.271.711.5800.390.06-0.47-0.67-0.43
01/10/201132.341.7300.370.14-0.49-1.39-0.25
01/11/20113.273.071.1400.520.19-0.48-1.05-0.23
01/12/20113.223.251.520.010.790.59-0.57-0.38-0.32
01/01/20123.023.641.10.020.860.86-0.56-0.18-0.3
01/02/20122.813.421.120.010.841.36-0.48-0.31-0.33
01/03/20123.162.981.0900.790.13-0.5-0.43-0.95
01/04/20122.562.161.6800.650.45-0.47-0.59-0.31
01/05/20122.382.281.340.010.480.24-0.49-0.53-0.72
01/06/20122.291.891.0200.280.11-0.45-0.35-0.86
01/07/20122.12.410.6500.320.12-0.43-0.96-0.72
01/08/20122.031.341.6300.190.1-0.46-1.09-0.61
01/09/20122.021.320.610.010.170.33-0.44-0.31-0.16
01/10/20122.52.880.370.310.560.2-0.5-0.18-0.52
01/11/20122.393.260.750.540.70.35-0.51-0.07-0.25
01/12/20122.353.781.120.420.920.81-0.53-0.13-0.45
01/01/20132.63.730.580.420.971.51-0.53-0.17-0.3
01/02/20132.283.390.350.510.941.81-0.49-0.06-0.26
01/03/20132.473.620.31.680.951.08-0.58-0.02-0.49
01/04/20132.53.231.120.150.650.34-0.51-0.3-0.93
01/05/20132.621.3400.490.33-0.49-0.5-0.99
01/06/20132.272.141.4400.270.14-0.44-0.62-1.34
01/07/20131.871.90.700.220.25-0.42-0.6-0.89
01/08/20131.651.630.50.020.270.21-0.44-0.19-0.83
01/09/20131.881.90.3600.240.26-0.42-0.24-0.36
01/10/20132.22.460.60.010.380.19-0.46-0.18-0.6
01/11/20132.293.20.970.260.910.33-0.52-0.02-0.22
01/12/20132.633.570.270.250.970.61-0.47-0.01-0.29
01/01/20142.73.530.240.191.10.9-0.52-0.02-0.15
01/02/20142.483.180.270.030.90.86-0.45-0.02-0.14
01/03/20142.622.820.420.070.950.54-0.49-0.05-0.48
01/04/20142.51.821.0600.630.22-0.41-0.49-0.69
01/05/20142.541.631.4300.340.29-0.51-0.79-0.72
01/06/20142.441.311.2400.370.18-0.49-0.49-0.97
01/07/20142.331.391.3500.220.19-0.45-0.84-0.6
01/08/20142.031.261.2800.190.2-0.46-0.51-0.38
01/09/20141.881.690.7600.430.19-0.47-0.65-0.24
01/10/20142.322.910.3300.390.31-0.45-0.5-0.46
01/11/20142.353.060.880.030.460.42-0.48-0.07-0.23
01/12/20142.463.640.910.040.740.75-0.5-0.04-0.22
01/01/20152.493.310.940.070.881.48-0.53-0.17-0.12
01/02/20152.153.390.760.10.661.47-0.5-0.05-0.16
01/03/20152.483.311.130.020.570.63-0.48-0.34-0.16
01/04/20152.642.280.8100.050.41-0.48-0.67-0.29
01/05/20152.791.941.3100.030.11-0.46-0.83-0.61
01/06/20152.491.670.8100.230.11-0.46-0.4-0.99
01/07/20152.182.140.8800.010.16-0.46-0.87-0.82
01/08/20152.222.281.25000.09-0.47-1.2-1.07
01/09/20152.242.271.0900.010.21-0.46-1.06-0.18
01/10/20152.5331.3900.010.18-0.52-0.86-0.56
01/11/20152.653.251.2800.30.32-0.46-0.76-0.29
01/12/20152.813.260.7600.60.27-0.46-0.52-0.27
01/01/20162.873.40.780.020.721.48-0.39-0.23-0.12
01/02/20162.443.21.20.030.611.19-0.41-0.13-0.15
01/03/20162.443.881.020.040.780.69-0.39-0.19-0.2
01/04/20162.453.170.420.001.040.48-0.35-0.47-0.13
01/05/20162.332.690.020.001.250.13-0.28-0.90-0.58
01/06/20161.992.570.030.030.400.15-0.24-0.04-0.84
01/07/20162.382.340.930.000.000.10-0.17-1.41-0.56
01/08/20161.802.160.610.000.010.29-0.23-0.88-0.27
01/09/20161.922.411.120.000.020.18-0.27-1.51-0.25
01/10/20162.403.880.370.000.180.21-0.24-0.45-0.27
01/11/20162.444.360.940.570.290.33-0.34-0.06-0.16
01/12/20162.604.600.470.820.260.50-0.290.00-0.4
01/01/20172.854.930.500.690.251.12-0.310.00-0.24
01/02/20172.424.260.330.500.190.66-0.24-0.02-0.43
01/03/20172.654.110.050.010.760.46-0.27-0.31-0.32

More information

Gas demand and supply source: At-a-glance summary

In recent years gas demand has fallen across all consumers as boilers have become more efficient and demand for gas from power stations has fallen.

Around 75% of our gas comes from the UK continental shelf and Norway, with the remainder coming from continental Europe and global LNG.

Relevance and further information

The gas supply mix is a useful indicator of the diversity and origin of the gas supplied in GB. Having diverse sources of supply suggests greater resilience for GB gas supply.

Methodology

Positive values represent supplies to the GB system. This includes domestic production from UKCS, imports at LNG terminals, withdrawals from storage and imports via pipelines and interconnectors.

Negative values represent supplies from the GB system (excluding end-consumer demand). This includes injections to storage and exports via interconnectors. GB has three interconnectors linking us with Belgium (IUK), the Netherlands (BBL) and Ireland and Northern Ireland (Moffat).

For simplicity, we have assumed gas entering at the St. Fergus terminal to be from the UKCS for the Mobil subterminal, and from Norway for the Shell and Total subterminals. This is likely to marginally overstate gas flows from Norway.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Electricity generation mix by quarter and fuel source (GB).

Source: BEIS Energy trends section 5: Electricity (ET 5.1) .

Information correct as of: July 2017

This chart shows quarterly totals of electricity generation by technology type for the GB National Electricity Transmission System, as well as net imports.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets

Data Table

Electricity generation mix by quarter and fuel source (GB)

DateCoalOilGasNuclearHydro (natural flow) Wind (onshore and offshore) and SolarBioenergyPumped storage (net supply)Other fuelsNet imports (Interconnectors)
Q1 200647.562.0629.9820.521.111.092.37-0.340.871.4
Q2 200628.55133.6918.210.960.792.13-0.250.782.86
Q3 200626.861.0735.3617.240.671.012.11-0.310.81.62
Q4 200638.521.2938.7313.261.821.352.49-0.30.81.63
Q1 200737.021.2242.8214.121.941.652.26-0.280.761.12
Q2 200724.11.0343.4713.730.840.931.96-0.280.860.89
Q3 200725.620.8136.5515.730.941.191.98-0.330.92.66
Q4 200742.291.439.5513.661.311.512.34-0.340.780.54
Q1 200833.421.0347.6113.141.972.222.17-0.290.812.42
Q2 200826.291.2141.9311.080.841.272.04-0.30.83.56
Q3 200822.011.5243.2810.960.731.312.06-0.350.683.72
Q4 200836.332.1340.1712.491.572.352.32-0.350.741.33
Q1 200937.811.8837.2715.41.562.62.52-0.330.780.57
Q2 200919.11.0338.1116.450.911.992.27-0.260.712.78
Q3 200915.571.0342.0716.11.132.122.22-0.290.80.81
Q4 200925.321.4246.0114.811.62.62.56-0.290.74-1.3
Q1 201030.981.2947.3816.520.822.452.72-0.290.6-1.69
Q2 201018.560.8344.6612.610.661.642.63-0.270.631.42
Q3 201018.821.0340.0811.820.852.742.77-0.230.612.76
Q4 201033.91.1640.3415.491.213.42.69-0.280.560.18
Q1 201133.360.8137.6617.671.33.352.92-0.260.661.06
Q2 201118.10.5136.3217.41.133.62.66-0.220.661.53
Q3 201118.170.737.8814.311.223.072.9-0.230.72.36
Q4 201133.490.7931.9713.281.995.713.05-0.240.631.27
Q1 2012400.6326.7215.621.825.223.49-0.260.681.99
Q2 201229.640.4924.7716.830.784.292.77-0.240.753.12
Q3 201227.320.522.5216.381.044.983.11-0.250.794.07
Q4 201238.90.6624.2515.121.626.543.57-0.270.792.7
Q1 201339.270.526.7116.611.247.043.62-0.270.812.82
Q2 201327.370.4223.7614.050.967.194.41-0.260.853.56
Q3 201325.210.542116.970.745.543.86-0.260.84.65
Q4 201331.860.4422.7416.51.7210.653.83-0.250.83.4
Q1 201432.780.4921.3915.012.2311.553.94-0.260.984.89
Q2 201420.960.4623.415.91.16.584.73-0.250.945.08
Q3 201415.070.428.6814.220.776.75.23-0.240.955.43
Q4 201426.260.3725.812.771.7411.245.8-0.260.995.11
Q1 201528.030.4723.1716.512.0212.86.02-0.231.114.91
Q2 201515.110.3322.9515.371.4411.456.08-0.231.075.54
Q3 201512.110.5326.0315.041.049.896.16-0.251.095.89
Q4 201516.50.4225.8116.981.7813.667.17-0.211.044.6
Q1 201613.890.4033.5615.752.0313.027.41-0.271.306.00
Q2 20164.330.5133.8715.130.9211.136.69-0.261.205.35
Q3 20162.550.3832.0717.131.1311.965.34-0.231.254.68
Q4 20168.210.4641.3417.141.1911.676.58-0.301.421.51
Q1 20179.980.7736.4916.031.7614.417.52-0.291.332.90

More information

Electricity generation mix: At-a-glance summary

The GB electricity system is undergoing a period of significant change as we transition from a large-scale conventional fossil fuel dominated generation mix to intermittent renewable generation. Over the past few years we have seen a marked increase in output from wind and solar farms. Over 2015 and 2016, the share of electricity generated from gas increased, while the share generated from coal decreased. This was partly due to improved economics for gas-fired generators.

Relevance and further information

The electricity generation mix is a useful indicator of trends in the diversity and origin of electricity in GB.

Methodology

Positive values represent supplies to the GB system. This includes electricity produced by GB power stations and imports via interconnectors. 

Negative values represent supplies from the GB system (excluding end consumer demand). This includes power demanded by GB power stations and exports via interconnectors. 

Data marked as ‘(net)’ is underpinned by both positive (generation) and negative (demand) values. For instance, interconnectors can both import and export electricity. Similarly, pumped storage can both demand electricity to pump and generate electricity when releasing water through its turbines. As data is summarised as quarterly values, the net calculation for certain generation sources underestimates the full extent of generation and demand.

The data is updated quarterly using BEIS’ Energy Trends publication. Some historical figures may differ because of rounding.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Gas long-term contract import volumes (GB).

Source: Ofgem information request to GB gas shippers.

Information correct as of: October 2015

This chart shows the annual amount of gas contracted for by GB gas shippers through long-term import contracts. This is further broken down by if the contract is ‘firm’ or ‘interruptible’.

The data only covers imports, so does not capture all long-term gas contracts. It is intended as a snapshot of trends, and does not include contracts agreed after 1 October 2015.

Policy Areas:

  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Gas long-term contract import volumes (GB)

YearFirmInterruptible
201526.4520.01
201616.9920.13
201713.2920.66
201812.5219.56
201911.1919.59
202010.6719.71
20217.8120.2
20226.6320.54
20236.4219.71
20246.1819.82
20259.0619.96
20268.5819.26
20277.6120.08
20286.4820.05
20294.9619.09
20302.4719.74
20311.4619.63
20321.0718.28
2033021.83
203405.99
203500.1
203600.1
203700.1
203700.1

More information

Gas imports (long-term contracts): At-a-glance summary

The annual import volume covered by long-term contracts is currently just under 50bcm. This equates to roughly half of total GB demand. This does not mean all gas will arrive at GB. Delivery is often dependent on the situation elsewhere in the global gas market. 

Relevance and further information

A long-term contract is when a seller and a buyer agree to exchange an amount of gas for a number of years in the future. They are distinct from spot or forward contracts which are agreed through trading on an exchange or bilateral trading platform.

Shippers will typically buy gas through a mix of long-term contracts and shorter-term forward and spot trading. Long-term contracts give greater certainty to buyers and sellers that they will have secure supplies for future years.

Generally in GB, contracts are linked to the GB gas market price, whereas in Europe they have historically been linked to the oil price. 

The amount of gas contracted for in long-term contracts gives some certainty about current and future security of supply. 

Methodology

The chart shows how some long-term import contracts are firm and some are interruptible. 

A firm contract generally means that those supplying the gas must supply the firm volume, and those buying the gas must take that volume. 

Interruptible contracts contain various clauses that mean the contracted volumes may not have to be supplied. For example, all Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contracts in GB are currently interruptible, with delivery usually dependent on the global LNG market. If increased security of supply risks in GB caused our prices to rise relative to the global market, then these contracts indicate that LNG deliveries to GB should increase.

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Access and liquidity

Highly liquid markets imply developed markets where it is easy to buy and sell energy at reliable prices. Liquid markets should have sufficient numbers of participants willing to buy and sell so that prices are not easily moved by a few small trades. 

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 2017

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%

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

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

Source: Ofgem calculations using data from ICIS .

Information correct as of: July 2017

This chart shows bid-offer spreads across a range of contracts for electricity delivered in GB for different periods of time in the future. Figures are presented as monthly averages of daily spreads.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets

Data Table

Electricity bid-offer spreads by contract type (GB)

Month beginningDay-aheadFront MonthFront QuarterFront SeasonSecond SeasonThird SeasonFourth Season
01/01/20060.63%0.60%0.87%0.68%0.70%1.10%0.90%
01/02/20060.71%0.64%0.91%0.86%0.57%0.91%0.60%
01/03/20061.16%0.60%1.03%1.01%0.58%1.15%0.75%
01/04/20060.70%0.60%0.97%0.56%0.91%0.71%0.97%
01/05/20060.97%0.75%0.75%0.54%0.83%0.53%0.79%
01/06/20061.29%0.59%1.00%0.57%0.76%0.59%0.81%
01/07/20060.74%0.68%0.73%0.51%0.65%0.60%0.82%
01/08/20060.86%0.46%0.72%0.52%0.62%0.61%0.87%
01/09/20061.19%0.64%0.97%0.66%0.66%0.80%0.96%
01/10/20061.66%0.55%0.71%0.86%0.77%1.03%1.00%
01/11/20061.29%0.59%0.72%0.74%0.70%0.95%0.87%
01/12/20061.44%0.88%1.19%1.22%0.99%1.37%1.10%
01/01/20071.68%1.00%2.23%1.08%0.84%1.10%1.03%
01/02/20071.99%1.17%1.85%1.16%0.83%1.20%1.33%
01/03/20072.38%1.08%1.74%1.36%0.83%1.23%1.04%
01/04/20072.75%0.86%0.95%0.78%0.99%0.99%1.48%
01/05/20072.23%0.94%1.46%0.76%0.73%1.01%1.26%
01/06/20072.35%0.74%0.92%0.66%0.73%0.94%1.15%
01/07/20072.93%0.76%1.27%0.61%0.82%0.77%1.25%
01/08/20071.82%0.83%1.14%0.62%0.67%0.76%1.08%
01/09/20071.73%0.67%0.92%0.63%0.86%0.64%0.79%
01/10/20071.37%0.74%0.76%0.74%0.78%1.02%0.83%
01/11/20070.89%0.65%0.81%0.71%0.85%1.04%1.00%
01/12/20071.15%0.63%0.94%0.83%0.74%1.30%1.24%
01/01/20080.73%0.63%1.19%0.82%0.75%1.02%0.97%
01/02/20081.12%0.58%1.21%0.84%0.68%1.16%0.90%
01/03/20080.88%0.40%0.94%0.62%0.51%1.01%0.70%
01/04/20080.83%0.38%0.74%0.62%0.74%0.70%0.91%
01/05/20080.85%0.40%0.63%0.56%0.55%0.69%0.94%
01/06/20080.74%0.41%0.68%0.49%0.57%0.68%0.90%
01/07/20080.78%0.29%0.96%0.52%0.67%0.72%0.78%
01/08/20080.82%0.40%0.77%0.60%0.76%0.68%1.09%
01/09/20080.71%0.33%0.69%0.67%0.66%0.67%0.95%
01/10/20080.95%0.62%0.87%0.69%0.74%1.17%1.11%
01/11/20080.70%0.57%1.08%0.80%0.88%1.19%1.21%
01/12/20081.34%0.83%1.22%0.96%0.89%1.30%1.12%
01/01/20091.35%0.84%2.03%1.03%0.92%1.55%1.26%
01/02/20091.92%0.93%1.96%1.05%0.86%1.49%1.26%
01/03/20091.88%0.85%1.48%1.09%0.79%1.28%1.14%
01/04/20092.13%0.80%0.99%0.57%0.75%0.73%1.17%
01/05/20091.43%0.47%1.19%0.61%0.80%0.81%1.19%
01/06/20091.52%0.61%1.11%0.62%0.88%0.74%0.92%
01/07/20092.02%0.74%0.97%0.69%0.82%1.03%1.23%
01/08/20092.30%0.65%1.21%0.69%0.61%0.72%0.70%
01/09/20091.10%0.47%1.38%0.83%0.79%0.88%0.99%
01/10/20090.70%0.47%0.55%0.72%0.55%0.82%0.73%
01/11/20090.68%0.42%0.51%0.48%0.61%0.94%0.90%
01/12/20090.72%0.89%1.19%1.09%1.01%1.38%1.24%
01/01/20100.64%0.60%1.50%0.81%0.81%1.16%1.13%
01/02/20100.61%0.49%1.19%0.67%0.69%1.05%1.07%
01/03/20100.80%0.60%1.72%1.11%0.66%1.09%1.08%
01/04/20100.73%0.79%0.93%0.80%0.98%1.13%1.42%
01/05/20100.63%0.60%0.77%0.60%0.90%0.95%1.39%
01/06/20100.67%0.63%1.15%0.75%1.09%1.13%1.39%
01/07/20100.56%0.64%1.83%0.67%0.99%1.00%1.22%
01/08/20100.55%0.67%1.58%0.69%1.02%1.10%1.38%
01/09/20100.66%0.50%1.58%0.64%0.73%0.77%1.16%
01/10/20100.56%0.57%0.83%0.55%0.64%0.85%1.00%
01/11/20100.53%0.52%0.56%0.49%0.49%0.71%0.87%
01/12/20100.49%0.53%0.98%0.70%0.65%1.13%0.91%
01/01/20110.45%1.91%1.72%0.43%0.49%0.81%0.98%
01/02/20110.48%1.40%1.66%0.46%0.44%0.78%0.75%
01/03/20110.48%0.63%1.36%0.52%0.39%0.63%0.64%
01/04/20110.39%0.42%0.52%0.50%0.49%0.62%0.76%
01/05/20110.43%0.41%0.48%0.39%0.55%0.77%0.87%
01/06/20110.39%0.43%0.67%0.44%0.68%0.63%0.71%
01/07/20110.45%0.58%0.70%0.39%0.67%0.66%0.78%
01/08/20110.65%0.46%0.77%0.43%0.57%0.69%0.97%
01/09/20110.56%0.54%0.74%0.54%0.64%0.71%0.88%
01/10/20110.48%0.46%0.63%0.64%0.69%0.87%0.96%
01/11/20110.59%0.44%0.56%0.52%0.54%0.99%0.94%
01/12/20110.49%0.55%1.00%0.68%0.75%1.23%1.16%
01/01/20120.54%0.53%1.78%0.70%0.73%0.86%0.94%
01/02/20120.44%0.60%1.75%0.64%0.55%0.83%0.98%
01/03/20120.47%0.55%1.37%0.70%0.54%0.82%0.85%
01/04/20120.48%0.70%0.90%0.62%0.68%0.77%1.11%
01/05/20120.46%0.52%0.89%0.48%0.70%0.75%1.08%
01/06/20120.49%0.58%1.04%0.46%0.69%0.85%1.18%
01/07/20120.49%0.58%1.14%0.47%0.83%0.81%0.98%
01/08/20120.55%0.52%1.13%0.42%0.79%0.85%0.97%
01/09/20120.48%0.49%0.96%0.49%0.74%0.75%0.90%
01/10/20120.48%0.47%0.77%0.42%0.62%0.89%0.89%
01/11/20120.47%0.44%0.58%0.43%0.47%0.89%0.89%
01/12/20120.51%0.42%0.84%0.52%0.67%0.83%0.98%
01/01/20130.40%0.42%0.96%0.44%0.44%0.79%0.80%
01/02/20130.49%0.44%1.06%0.63%0.57%0.76%0.79%
01/03/20130.42%0.48%1.05%0.49%0.55%0.60%0.68%
01/04/20130.39%0.48%0.71%0.41%0.57%0.57%0.77%
01/05/20130.41%0.50%0.59%0.40%0.50%0.51%0.76%
01/06/20130.45%0.44%0.55%0.38%0.53%0.46%0.70%
01/07/20130.43%0.40%0.64%0.36%0.47%0.37%0.51%
01/08/20130.42%0.44%0.53%0.37%0.47%0.36%0.47%
01/09/20130.40%0.41%0.67%0.39%0.49%0.47%0.53%
01/10/20130.42%0.33%0.45%0.33%0.30%0.45%0.43%
01/11/20130.34%0.41%0.33%0.25%0.24%0.48%0.42%
01/12/20130.37%0.39%0.57%0.38%0.42%0.44%0.56%
01/01/20140.37%0.44%0.78%0.32%0.28%0.29%0.36%
01/02/20140.40%0.54%0.94%0.59%0.53%0.46%0.41%
01/03/20140.43%0.50%1.11%0.66%0.51%0.56%0.37%
01/04/20140.48%0.34%0.46%0.37%0.33%0.32%0.44%
01/05/20140.44%0.39%0.41%0.32%0.28%0.30%0.36%
01/06/20140.22%0.40%0.56%0.28%0.31%0.27%0.41%
01/07/20140.33%0.35%0.48%0.27%0.26%0.28%0.41%
01/08/20140.33%0.31%0.40%0.25%0.21%0.30%0.31%
01/09/20140.25%0.28%0.33%0.27%0.30%0.25%0.26%
01/10/20140.25%0.24%0.33%0.22%0.25%0.37%0.24%
01/11/20140.21%0.23%0.24%0.32%0.25%0.26%0.30%
01/12/20140.25%0.33%0.27%0.26%0.26%0.33%0.35%
01/01/20150.29%0.22%0.30%0.25%0.26%0.33%0.28%
01/02/20150.26%0.29%0.35%0.24%0.32%0.36%0.39%
01/03/20150.25%0.21%0.28%0.27%0.24%0.32%0.31%
01/04/20150.24%0.21%0.24%0.24%0.24%0.26%0.33%
01/05/20150.24%0.17%0.28%0.27%0.20%0.24%0.33%
01/06/20150.28%0.23%0.23%0.24%0.21%0.28%0.34%
01/07/20150.26%0.22%0.30%0.23%0.23%0.31%0.30%
01/08/20150.24%0.19%0.29%0.25%0.20%0.28%0.32%
01/09/20150.27%0.26%0.34%0.29%0.26%0.30%0.28%
01/10/20150.27%0.19%0.33%0.25%0.26%0.30%0.35%
01/11/20150.31%0.27%0.27%0.28%0.22%0.31%0.35%
01/12/20150.27%0.27%0.26%0.29%0.32%0.36%0.35%
01/01/20160.27%0.23%0.33%0.25%0.27%0.32%0.31%
01/02/20160.32%0.24%0.34%0.34%0.28%0.32%0.33%
01/03/20160.36%0.23%0.31%0.29%0.24%0.25%0.33%
01/04/20160.29%0.23%0.31%0.25%0.28%0.33%0.39%
01/05/20160.29%0.34%0.28%0.28%0.32%0.40%0.42%
01/06/20160.27%0.30%0.33%0.30%0.32%0.34%0.41%
01/07/20160.31%0.29%0.45%0.35%0.32%0.33%0.43%
01/08/20160.29%0.27%0.35%0.27%0.28%0.34%0.35%
01/09/20160.25%0.28%0.33%0.35%0.29%0.34%0.37%
01/10/20160.23%0.35%0.31%0.31%0.33%0.31%0.30%
01/11/20160.23%0.32%0.38%0.36%0.30%0.32%0.34%
01/12/20160.27%0.38%0.41%0.30%0.35%0.34%0.30%
01/01/20170.30%0.32%0.44%0.35%0.30%0.30%0.35%
01/02/20170.38%0.28%0.35%0.28%0.28%0.26%0.32%
01/03/20170.47%0.36%0.34%0.32%0.25%0.33%0.33%

More information

Electricity bid-offer spreads: At-a-glance summary

Bid-offer spreads have consistently narrowed over the course of the last four years, indicating that the ability of firms to trade has improved over the period. Spreads are typically wider for peak products than for baseload, reflecting the higher volume of trading that occurs in baseload products.

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 electricity at a good price. For example, in a liquid market a new supplier can more easily enter the market and buy the power they need to cover their consumers’ demand whilst also having confidence in the price they are paying.

Methodology

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

Spreads are based on over-the-counter trading and are assessed by ICIS at 4.30pm each business day.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Gas trading volumes and monthly churn ratio by platform (GB).

Source: ICE, LEBA, ICE Endex & National Grid.

Information correct as of: July 2017

This chart shows the total monthly volumes of gas traded in GB across different trading platforms. The churn ratio is also shown.

Policy Areas:

  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Gas trading volumes and monthly churn ratio by platform (GB)

MonthChurnICEICE EndexOTC
01/01/20111229.841.15103.61
01/02/20111838.670.96123.64
01/03/20112257.190.85145.68
01/04/20111533.281.1785.32
01/05/20111527.940.9981.35
01/06/20112133.360.7698
01/07/20112037.160.8889.15
01/08/20112860.590.95115.88
01/09/20112647.710.93108.36
01/10/20111847.31.4889.39
01/11/20112049.611.34109.81
01/12/20111131.571.3366.34
01/01/20122159.231.16137.42
01/02/20122477.710.82151.69
01/03/20122255.691.07126.35
01/04/20121742.241.0286.1
01/05/20122246.871.3199.46
01/06/201220371.0676.28
01/07/20122241.060.9583.71
01/08/20122441.181.1382.96
01/09/20122639.680.9573.82
01/10/20122461.681.2497.1
01/11/20121756.221.0279.67
01/12/20121031.161.0362.54
01/01/20131548.541.0795.63
01/02/20131754.061.01106
01/03/20131656.021.5298.72
01/04/20131642.631.1180.81
01/05/20131841.131.0980.74
01/06/20132141.251.2185.54
01/07/20131724.71.0661.22
01/08/20132330.721.167.71
01/09/20132738.491.1484.27
01/10/20132236.171.0791.93
01/11/20131646.461.0582.78
01/12/20131139.181.1153.87
01/01/20142382.450.91112.19
01/02/20142575.120.99112.6
01/03/20142689.271.03110.45
01/04/20142777.361.1588.62
01/05/20142160.251.1171.52
01/06/20142772.430.9475.66
01/07/20143082.40.9579.12
01/08/20142567.170.9757.72
01/09/20143074.080.9574.03
01/10/20142570.421.1187.23
01/11/20142067.030.9975.88
01/12/20141560.050.9565.45
01/01/201522103.240.94101.41
01/02/201525117.190.9395.02
01/03/201527112.120.92105.54
01/04/20152159.320.8669.28
01/05/20152058.520.8862.58
01/06/20152767.580.7677.56
01/07/20152675.080.764.32
01/08/20152266.240.8760.95
01/09/20152467.540.7670.3
01/10/20152381.380.7679.09
01/11/201523103.660.977.38
01/12/20151664.330.7958.75
01/01/201623117.840.8792.09
01/02/201623107.750.7691.49
01/03/20161985.470.9782.96
01/04/20162389.580.9381.5
01/05/20162679.050.8887.64
01/06/20163488.150.7985.07
01/07/20162257.530.7164.94
01/08/20162560.50.7259.59
01/09/20162565.740.7276.25
01/10/20161857.30.7165.63
01/11/20161566.410.6562.95
01/12/20161049.670.8341.37
01/01/20171584.620.8065.89
01/02/20172089.560.6773.52
01/03/20172189.130.7074.93

More information

Gas trading volumes and churn ratio: At-a-glance summary

Churn in the GB gas market at the National Balancing Point (NBP) remains high and over the past year has hovered between 20 and 30. This is indicative of a highly liquid market. There is also a diverse range of products and platforms available for those looking to trade at the NBP. This includes a wide range of forward and spot contracts with significant trading volumes throughout. Since January 2014, the location of NBP trading has shifted from being dominated by over-the-counter (OTC) trading to a more even spread between OTC and exchange based trading. 

Relevance and further information

Churn is one metric used to assess market liquidity. It shows how often a unit of gas is traded before it is delivered to end consumers. 

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

Churn ratios are calculated by dividing the total gas volumes traded by the total amount of gas delivered.

Trading data is based on total volumes from over-the-counter trading (from the LEBA trade association) and the major gas exchanges (ICE and ICE Endex). 

Physical delivery data is sourced from National Grid.

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Chart

Source: BEIS, ICE, ICIS, N2EX & APX.

Information correct as of: July 2017

The chart shows total monthly volumes of electricity traded in GB across different trading platforms. The churn ratio is also shown. ‘Churn’ is the number of times one unit of electricity is traded.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets

Data Table

Electricity trading volumes and churn ratio by month and platform (GB)

DateChurnN2EXAPXICEOTC
01/01/20103.50.351.162.98114.5
01/02/20103.90.51.420.76113.46
01/03/201040.51.840.43118.9
01/04/20104.90.181.190.56126.67
01/05/20104.31.731.370.48109.05
01/06/20103.81.661.760.6689.44
01/07/20103.41.581.372.5180.92
01/08/20102.51.641.380.1458.95
01/09/20102.62.41.880.9459.19
01/10/20102.52.71.430.2965.37
01/11/20102.73.191.760.4174.34
01/12/20101.83.072.380.2257.24
01/01/20112.42.81.770.6373.72
01/02/20113.62.591.641.1998.62
01/03/20114.42.542.081.51128.35
01/04/20112.82.581.830.2164.68
01/05/20112.12.871.820.0548.82
01/06/20113.53.622.170.6979.88
01/07/20113.43.081.670.5678.67
01/08/20113.72.471.711.286.89
01/09/20113.53.392.061.2781.8
01/10/201134.921.90.5973.12
01/11/20113.56.432.062.9386.51
01/12/201128.342.651.2548.31
01/01/20123.27.891.681.9988.61
01/02/20123.59.191.511.0393.33
01/03/2012310.861.791.3170.23
01/04/20122.17.241.240.8147.74
01/05/20123.37.371.252.177.04
01/06/20123.311.561.610.2666.01
01/07/20123.211.71.30.9164.2
01/08/20122.912.421.431.1456.57
01/09/20122.816.611.732.0149.5
01/10/20122.711.871.390.6259.66
01/11/20122.611.291.50.2862.18
01/12/2012214.72.070.8443.73
01/01/20133.111.691.780.9883.68
01/02/20133.611.781.580.5889.65
01/03/20132.414.5321.1755.62
01/04/20132.510.962.050.2653.81
01/05/20132.910.232.050.1761.17
01/06/20133.112.382.030.8656.48
01/07/20132.910.131.870.2658.21
01/08/20133.19.951.750.2762.02
01/09/20133.213.181.850.6662.1
01/10/20133.511.011.910.5179.34
01/11/20132.611.561.90.5560.32
01/12/20132.215.031.880.6545.88
01/01/20143.411.431.730.7389.98
01/02/20143.511.281.620.8882.6
01/03/20143.613.612.030.3986.67
01/04/20144.511.831.970.1899.72
01/05/20143.411.52.140.2471.51
01/06/20143.710.661.810.1570.21
01/07/20143.610.661.970.2272.53
01/08/20143.69.52.270.1471.84
01/09/20143.610.112.10.173.68
01/10/20143.111.32.760.2668.6
01/11/20142.911.762.730.4465.37
01/12/20142.412.423.020.6253.51
01/01/20153.312.513.190.9987.8
01/02/20154.110.135.071.3796.59
01/03/20153.69.44.741.4788.79
01/04/20152.88.65.070.2853.44
01/05/20152.68.895.410.5946.98
01/06/201538.015.180.5455.62
01/07/20153.98.035.31.0478.31
01/08/20153.18.395.020.7857.81
01/09/20153.68.285.390.772.31
01/10/20153.89.195.420.883.46
01/11/20153.49.395.770.9278.29
01/12/20152.99.226.05171.23
01/01/20164.79.836.691.28122.35
01/02/2016511.946.81.21117.91
01/03/2016413.527.640.3789.79
01/04/20164.38.243.931.1997.36
01/05/20164.88.254.11.3898.38
01/06/20164.37.913.870.7782.87
01/07/20163.68.174.10.9267.05
01/08/20163.58.073.942.1664.78
01/09/20166.38.133.774.3127.37
01/10/20166.28.973.912.57139.45
01/11/20165.89.654.135.29141.76
01/12/20163.89.354.263.2589.34
01/01/20174.210.625.592.17107.06
01/02/20173.48.965.061.3078.15
01/03/20172.99.455.251.0565.19

More information

Electricity trading volumes and churn ratio: At-a-glance summary

There is a diverse range of products and platforms available for those looking to trade power in GB. However, the majority of electricity trades are still done over-the-counter (OTC). Baseload products persistently dominate; accounting for the vast majority of OTC traded volumes. Since the implementation of our Secure and Promote Licence Condition there has been an increase in the number of times units of power are traded before delivery (churn), indicating a slight improvement in churn. 

Relevance and further information

Churn is one metric used to assess market liquidity. It shows how often a unit of electricity is traded before it is delivered to end consumers. 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 electricity at a good price. For example, in a liquid market a new supplier can more easily enter the market and buy the electricity they need to cover their consumers’ demand whilst also having confidence in the price they are paying for that electricity. 

Volumes on the respective platforms tend to reflect the time horizon of the contracts traded and are not reflective of the total contribution to market liquidity.

Methodology

Churn ratios are calculated by dividing total traded electricity volumes by the total amount of electricity demanded.

Trading data is based on total volumes from OTC trading (sourced from ICIS) and the major electricity exchanges (ICE, APX and N2EX).

Physical demand data is sourced from BEIS Energy trends.

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Competition

The amount of competition in the energy market can have a strong impact on final wholesale prices. The more pressures there are from companies competing with one another, the more likely the wholesale market will reflect the true economic costs to supply energy.

Chart

Source: Ofgem calculations using data from Elexon and NETA reports.

Information correct as of: July 2017

This chart shows the market shares of companies who supply electricity to the GB National Transmission System by year. 

The companies with the largest 8 market shares are identified largest to smallest, with all other companies shown as ‘Other’.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets

Data Table

Wholesale electricity generation market shares by company in 2016 (GB)

CompanyShare
EDF24%
RWE16%
Centrica8%
Drax7%
SSE7%
Uniper6%
InterGen5%
ScottishPower4%
Other23%

More information

Wholesale electricity supply market shares: At-a-glance summary

Our analysis of market concentration suggests that the GB wholesale electricity market appears to have relatively low levels of concentration. 

In 2016, EDF Energy had the largest share, accounting for around a quarter of total generation. However, EDF Energy’s generation portfolio is mostly nuclear plant. Nuclear plant have low marginal costs and are very costly to increase or decrease output. This means they generally run as a flat baseload source of power at high-load factors. 

Relevance and further information

Market shares are an important indicator of trends in market concentration and competition. High market shares for a small number of firms suggest low levels of competition, and vice versa.  

Methodology

We calculate market shares from metered volumes associated with individual power stations and interconnectors (called Balancing Mechanism Units or BM units). 

We have made assumptions about which companies own each BM unit.

Volumes are split based on equity stakes.

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Chart

Source: Ofgem analysis of companies’ Consolidated Segmental Statements.

Information correct as of: July 2017

This chart shows the Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) margins for the generation activities of the six large energy suppliers in the GB market. 

A company’s EBIT margin is their revenue minus their costs, before accounting for taxes and interest. These margins have been divided to highlight variations in profitability for different types of power generation technology.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets

Data Table

Large suppliers: Electricity generation profitability by technology type in 2016 (GB)

CompanyNuclearConventionalRenewable
Centrica15.8%-11.1%14.1%
E.ON0%-11.0%42.7%
EDF22.5%-19.4%22.4%
RWE0%0.6%28.1%
ScottishPower0%-6.5%36.1%

More information

Electricity generation profitability by technology type: At-a-glance summary

Profitability of electricity generation for the six large suppliers active in the electricity wholesale market can be shown through analysis of their Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS). There has been a marked reduction in conventional generator profitability in recent years. On the flip side there has been an increase in renewable generation profitability.  

Relevance and further information

The Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) margin is a useful indicator of trends in energy company profits. The level of profit in a market is a good measure of how competitive that market is. Here we have shown profitability by power generation technology type to indicate which forms of technology generation are most profitable for generators. 

Methodology

EBIT is calculated by subtracting the total direct costs, total indirect costs (such as operating costs) and depreciation and amortisation for supplying energy from a supplier’s total revenue.

The EBIT margin is calculated by dividing a supplier’s total revenue by the EBIT value. It is expressed as a percentage, so the figure is multiplied by 100.

We have split margins into conventional generation (eg coal, gas, oil), renewables (eg wind, hydro) and nuclear.

The data in this chart may differ from the data that can be found in the supplier’s externally published Consolidated Segmental Statements. This is because we have made some adjustments to improve comparability. These mostly relate to removing certain impairment and restructuring costs. Detail on these adjustments can be found in Ofgem's review of 2016 CSS.

Note: SSE were previously included in this chart. However, as SSE cover financial years in their report, at the time of publication of these indicators (July 2017) this was not available.

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Investment and sustainability

A more sustainable energy market has significant impacts on levels of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Investment is also essential to ensure that the market can meet the demands of current and future consumers.  

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Spark and dark spreads (GB).

Source: Ofgem analysis of data from ICIS and Bloomberg.

Information correct as of: July 2017

The chart shows clean spark and dark spreads in GB. These indicate the average revenue a power station can expect from generating a unit of electricity during ‘baseload’ operation, after fuel and carbon costs. 

Clean spark spreads refer to gas generation and clean dark spreads refer to coal generation. 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - wholesale markets

Data Table

Spark and dark spreads (GB)

DateSpark (low eff)SparkSpark (high eff)DarkPower price (baseload)
01/10/20076.049.2315.481.9143.82
01/11/200713.7517.4424.6512.7157.35
01/12/20075.759.6017.125.3051.24
01/01/200810.3514.3622.1910.2157.73
01/02/20088.0611.8719.312.7453.08
01/03/20086.4610.5618.574.5054.92
01/04/200814.0618.6927.7616.7768.85
01/05/200819.6024.0532.7414.9572.18
01/06/200831.8336.5945.8821.4088.01
01/07/200834.3338.9247.8818.5588.53
01/08/200834.1238.2546.3115.8282.86
01/09/200844.4949.6659.7640.47105.58
01/10/200836.3940.6849.0637.0587.06
01/11/200821.1525.2433.2525.7669.56
01/12/200812.5216.7024.8922.2162.01
01/01/200910.3914.7423.2423.7761.79
01/02/20095.618.9915.5911.9745.52
01/03/20096.699.1313.915.2735.58
01/04/20098.6210.9115.383.4335.67
01/05/20099.8012.0116.333.5635.93
01/06/200910.1612.2616.373.8734.98
01/07/200911.7313.6117.292.6433.97
01/08/200911.9613.8017.401.0533.72
01/09/200912.4414.1517.500.2532.68
01/10/200911.3613.4217.451.3835.72
01/11/20098.2410.3914.60-0.5333.68
01/12/20096.799.2313.990.6135.57
01/01/20105.017.9513.723.3039.85
01/02/20104.196.8712.121.8335.92
01/03/20105.638.0912.91-0.0134.75
01/04/20106.929.4514.41-0.2236.88
01/05/20106.059.0314.87-0.5641.33
01/06/20104.978.1114.26-0.6942.12
01/07/20103.837.1913.752.7743.53
01/08/20102.725.8712.03-0.0739.95
01/09/20104.948.0013.980.1341.12
01/10/20103.286.6813.330.4143.50
01/11/20103.587.2014.282.1146.40
01/12/20105.9810.3818.999.3058.03
01/01/20110.974.9912.840.2048.43
01/02/20110.634.5112.09-0.3946.47
01/03/2011-0.174.2012.730.7451.41
01/04/20111.485.6613.82-1.0650.86
01/05/20111.135.2913.420.2350.27
01/06/20111.175.3713.581.4750.82
01/07/20111.665.5813.240.5347.96
01/08/20112.025.8613.360.4247.36
01/09/20113.487.2714.690.8848.32
01/10/20110.674.5712.212.4246.83
01/11/2011-1.182.8310.653.8546.15
01/12/2011-1.512.309.753.3343.54
01/01/2012-1.442.259.463.8442.17
01/02/2012-3.401.059.7311.6649.10
01/03/2012-1.272.6910.459.5145.64
01/04/2012-1.882.1610.0711.1545.91
01/05/2012-1.632.229.7311.8543.79
01/06/2012-1.961.789.099.6242.24
01/07/2012-1.851.929.299.3142.71
01/08/2012-2.571.148.386.7641.21
01/09/2012-4.98-0.897.1110.5943.39
01/10/2012-3.780.579.0615.4647.60
01/11/2012-3.211.209.8415.8949.00
01/12/2012-2.511.9110.5617.4249.76
01/01/2013-2.481.9610.6319.5049.96
01/02/2013-2.412.1411.0520.0351.44
01/03/2013-4.191.4912.5832.8662.90
01/04/2013-5.13-0.358.9817.1651.30
01/05/2013-4.500.028.8515.5148.89
01/06/2013-2.052.1310.2915.2447.31
01/07/2013-4.250.238.9916.1048.73
01/08/2013-5.30-0.857.8515.4747.31
01/09/2013-4.020.529.3916.5949.63
01/10/2013-4.86-0.378.4114.8248.22
01/11/2013-2.312.3711.5320.0053.05
01/12/2013-5.46-0.708.6117.9250.81
01/01/2014-5.43-0.937.8514.9747.67
01/02/2014-3.740.408.4812.9845.15
01/03/2014-2.581.399.1712.8144.41
01/04/2014-1.741.949.136.6741.77
01/05/2014-0.383.009.624.7639.62
01/06/20140.963.989.892.2736.67
01/07/20141.174.079.740.6435.46
01/08/20141.274.3710.441.7137.97
01/09/20140.684.2811.337.4843.28
01/10/20140.704.4311.739.3044.81
01/11/20140.724.7612.6511.7048.43
01/12/2014-2.871.098.847.8343.96
01/01/2015-1.212.269.067.1439.86
01/02/2015-1.891.889.258.6242.68
01/03/2015-0.912.629.527.6140.80
01/04/2015-1.042.7810.232.7144.03
01/05/2015-1.701.939.010.4841.13
01/06/2015-0.573.0210.031.0841.84
01/07/2015-0.353.2510.291.4542.20
01/08/20151.124.4911.080.8140.99
01/09/20151.264.7311.502.3442.23
01/10/20150.473.8410.430.8840.30
01/11/20151.244.3710.48-1.3238.20
01/12/2015-0.622.408.29-3.1735.00
01/01/20163.035.8911.47-0.8036.80
01/02/20162.154.8110.01-2.5033.59
01/03/20163.546.1911.38-1.5434.92
01/04/20162.515.1810.38-3.1333.99
01/05/20162.285.0210.37-3.2734.64
01/06/20162.255.2211.03-2.3037.37
01/07/20163.456.4112.18-4.4838.37
01/08/20164.527.2312.51-7.0536.47
01/09/201623.0725.6330.638.7853.32
01/10/201619.4322.9629.858.3661.12
01/11/201623.7527.6335.2114.6869.60
01/12/20166.8410.6117.98-1.2251.42
01/01/20173.667.8516.05-0.9353.23
01/02/20171.625.6713.60-2.4549.56
01/03/20171.965.3712.04-7.5042.26

More information

Spark and dark spreads: At-a-glance summary

Higher clean dark spreads relative to clean spark spreads indicate that coal generation has been more profitable than gas in the last five years. This has resulted in coal generation running more intensively. However, in recent times, more efficient gas-fired generation has overtaken coal generation as being more profitable. This can be largely attributed to falling gas prices.

Relevance and further information

Clean spark and dark spreads give some insight into the profitability of coal and gas-fired generation. As such this is a good indication of which kinds of plants are likely to operate or whether investment in new plant is likely. 

Methodology

Dark and spark spreads are calculated using the following fuel efficiency assumptions.  

The efficiencies used are: Dark = 35%, Spark = 50%, Spark (high efficiency) = 60%, Spark (low efficiency) = 45%.

close

Chart

Source: Ofgem calculations using data from ICIS .

Information correct as of: July 2017

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 beginning2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-162016-172017-182018-19
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

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 2018-2019 are currently low by historical standards. These trends are at least partly because of increased import capacity. Much of this new 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.

close

Chart

Source: ICIS data & Ofgem calculations.

Information correct as of: July 2017

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%

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.

close

Methodology and data sources

We have selected this range of indicators to support general understanding of market outcomes, to provide a picture of the market where it is not produced elsewhere, or where there is scope for us to set a clear methodology for the data.

Our data comes from sources that are either publicly available, provided by third parties or from Ofgem information requests. Specific sources and relevant dates are listed with each indicator. We are grateful to third parties for allowing us to reproduce their data. 

We will review the indicators periodically to ensure they continue to help promote transparency and understanding of the wholesale energy market.

Related publications

Wholesale energy markets in 2016

Wholesale power market liquidity: Annual report 2016

Wholesale energy markets in 2015

Wholesale power market liquidity: Annual report 2015

These market indicators and data are not intended for use or to be relied on for any commercial purposes. View copyright and disclaimer

Publications and updates

  • Published: 3rd Jul 2017
  • Charts and data
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