Energy price cap (default tariff) policy

Our policy about how we protect people who are on standard variable energy tariffs (default tariffs) to make sure energy prices are fair.


We are responsible for setting the energy price cap for England, Scotland and Wales. It protects households that are on standard variable tariffs, known as ‘default’ tariffs.

The energy price cap is set out in legislation called the Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Act 2018 (the ‘Act’). It makes sure that the price people pay for the energy they use is fair and covers the costs to supply that energy, such as improvements to customer service. The cap also means that when all costs included in the cap go up, the level of the cap goes up. This is so that energy suppliers can recover these costs to reduce the risk of them going bust. When costs go down, the level of the cap also goes down.

The price cap started on 1 January 2019. Read how we designed and set up the energy price cap (Default Tariffs).

Setting the energy price cap

We update the cap every three months, in January, April, July and October. We announce the new cap levels about a month before the start of the cap period.

When we set the cap, we review the costs included and its design. We may also change the way we calculate them. If we change the design of the cap, we will seek views from interested groups to gather their feedback to support our policy decisions.

Search our open and closed consultations and calls for input to get details about the topics we are working on about price cap.

Energy price cap levels and guidance for the energy sector

If you work in the energy sector you can get details about what is included in each model for all energy price cap levels.

If you pay the energy bills in your household

Get the levels for a typical household including standing charges in our energy price cap guide.

The actual rates you are charged will depend on where you live, how you pay your bill and the type of meter you have. Get energy price cap standing charges and unit rates by region.