In our monitoring of the retail energy market for gas and electricity, we collect and analyse a vast range of data. Our retail market indicators give a snapshot of this monitoring. They draw from a comprehensive framework which underpins our ongoing monitoring, including our annual update on the retail energy markets in Great Britain. You can view these updates in the related publications section below. 

Our interactive retail 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 [7].

Retail highlights September 2020

Prices and Profits

As of 28 August 2020, the average price of SVTs from the six largest suppliers for a typical dual fuel customer paying by direct debit was £1,125, unchanged from the previous month, and close to the current default tariff cap (£1,127). At the beginning of August we published the new cap level for the winter period, down to £1,042. This will come into effect on 1 October. Many suppliers have already announced new prices to comply with the new tariff cap level and will be covered in future updates.

The cheapest tariff basket from the ten cheapest suppliers in July 2020 was priced at £806, down £6 compared to the previous month. As a result, the differential between the average price of SVTs for the six largest suppliers and the cheapest tariff basket increased from £313 to £318.

See Prices and Profits.

Switching

In July 2020, the number of switches grew by 15% compared to June 2020. In electricity it rose from 461,611 to 537,480, and in gas rose from 342,908 to 389,906. Compared to July 2019, switches were down by 3% for gas, but up by 10% in electricity.

For the 12 months up to July 2020, there were 5.9 million switches in electricity, and 4.6 million in gas. This is up 1% for electricity, and down 5% for gas, compared to the 12 months up to June 2019.

In July 2020, the proportion of net gains in switching away from the six largest suppliers made up 38% of total switches for gas and electricity combined, up from 18% in July 2019.

See Switching.

Market structure

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Number of active domestic suppliers by fuel type (GB) [8].

Source: Ofgem analysis of distribution network operator (DNO) and Xoserve reports.

Information correct as of: July 2020

This chart shows the number of active licensed suppliers in the domestic gas and electricity markets. It also gives a breakdown by those supplying both gas and electricity, and those who supply only one fuel. 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Number of active domestic suppliers by fuel type (GB)
GasElectricity Gas and electricityTotal
Dec-04101213
Dec-05101112
Dec-0610910
Dec-07101011
Dec-08101112
Dec-09001212
Dec-10001212
Dec-11001414
Dec-12221620
Dec-13421824
Jun-14222024
Sep-14332127
Dec-14322227
Mar-15332329
Jun-15332531
Sep-15322833
Dec-15533240
Mar-16523643
Jun-16513844
Sep-16624048
Dec-16634251
Mar-17624553
Jun-17744859
Sep-17745465
Dec-17755668
Mar-18745970
Jun-18726170
Sep-18725867
Dec-18725362
Mar-19525259
Jun-19535664
Sep-19525461
Dec-19525158
Mar-20525057

More information

At-a-glance summary

There were 57 active suppliers in the domestic gas and electricity retail markets as of March 2020. These consisted of the six largest suppliers and 51 other suppliers, mainly active in both gas and electricity.

From December 2019 to March 2020, the number of active domestic suppliers decreased.  This was due to two suppliers exiting the market and one entering during this period.

For more detail on market entry and exit see the indicator ‘Supplier entries and exits in the domestic retail energy market [10]’.

 

Relevance and further information

The number of active suppliers in the GB energy market helps us to understand the dynamics of market concentration over time, as new participants enter; win customers and some existing firms exit the market.

Methodology

We calculate the number of active licensed suppliers (i.e. those with customers) from the information that both network operators and suppliers provide to us. White label suppliers are not included in this number. White label suppliers are organisations without supply licenses that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using their own brand.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Gas supply market shares by company: Domestic (GB) [11].

Source: Ofgem analysis of Xoserve reports.

Information correct as of: July 2020

This chart shows the domestic gas market shares for each of the six largest suppliers, medium and small suppliers.

Chart tip: To look at a specific data series or to switch a series view on and off, click on a title in the chart legend (e.g. British Gas).

Policy Areas:

  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Gas supply market shares by company: Domestic (GB)
British GasEDFEONnpowerScottish PowerSSEUtility Warehouse OVO EnergyShell EnergyUtilitaBulbOctopus EnergyAvro EnergyGreen Network EnergySmall Suppliers
2005 Q255.80%4.60%12.40%9.20%8.50%9.10%0.40%
2005 Q355.30%4.70%12.20%9.30%8.60%9.50%0.40%
2005 Q454.80%4.90%12.10%9.70%8.60%10.00%0.00%
2006 Q154.10%5.20%12.20%9.70%8.60%10.10%0.00%
2006 Q252.40%5.70%12.10%10.20%8.60%10.60%0.40%
2006 Q351.20%6.00%12.20%10.60%8.40%11.20%0.40%
2006 Q449.90%6.20%12.00%11.00%8.30%12.10%0.40%
2007 Q148.90%6.50%11.80%11.40%8.40%12.60%0.40%
2007 Q248.50%6.50%11.70%11.60%8.10%13.00%0.50%
2007 Q348.10%6.60%11.60%11.70%8.20%13.30%0.50%
2007 Q447.90%6.70%11.50%11.70%8.10%13.60%0.50%
2008 Q147.50%6.70%11.60%11.30%8.30%14.10%0.50%
2008 Q246.50%6.90%11.80%11.20%8.20%14.80%0.60%
2008 Q345.60%6.70%12.10%11.20%8.60%15.20%0.60%
2008 Q445.10%6.90%12.20%11.10%8.60%15.30%0.70%
2009 Q144.70%7.10%12.20%11.30%8.50%15.50%0.80%
2009 Q244.30%7.20%12.20%11.30%8.40%15.60%0.90%
2009 Q344.40%7.20%12.20%11.10%8.30%15.80%1.00%
2009 Q444.20%7.20%12.30%10.90%8.30%16.00%1.10%
2010 Q144.20%7.30%12.20%10.60%8.30%16.10%1.20%
2010 Q244.20%7.30%12.20%10.40%8.30%16.20%1.30%
2010 Q344.00%7.30%12.30%11.40%8.40%16.30%0.40%
2010 Q443.80%7.30%12.50%11.40%8.40%16.20%0.40%
2011 Q143.40%7.50%12.70%11.40%8.50%16.10%0.50%
2011 Q243.50%7.30%12.80%11.30%8.50%16.00%0.50%
2011 Q343.00%8.00%13.10%11.50%8.10%15.80%0.60%
2011 Q442.40%8.20%13.10%11.60%8.30%15.60%0.70%
2012 Q142.20%8.20%13.20%11.70%8.30%15.50%0.90%
2012 Q241.90%8.30%13.30%11.80%8.30%15.40%1.10%
2012 Q341.60%8.50%13.10%11.70%8.50%15.30%1.30%
2012 Q440.80%8.50%12.90%11.70%9.10%15.10%1.80%
2013 Q140.70%8.50%12.70%11.60%9.20%15.10%2.20%
2013 Q240.60%8.60%12.60%11.40%9.30%15.10%2.40%
2013 Q340.50%8.60%12.50%11.50%9.30%15.00%2.60%
2013 Q439.20%9.20%12.50%10.10%9.40%14.60%1.60%1.30%2.10%
2014 Q138.70%9.30%12.30%10.10%9.30%14.40%1.70%1.60%2.80%
2014 Q238.40%9.00%12.10%9.90%9.20%14.20%1.70%1.20%2.00%2.30%
2014 Q338.10%9.10%11.80%9.60%9.10%14.00%1.80%1.30%2.50%2.70%
2014 Q437.80%9.00%11.90%9.40%9.00%13.60%1.80%1.50%2.90%3.10%
2015 Q137.70%8.60%11.90%9.30%9.00%13.30%1.90%1.60%3.10%3.50%
2015 Q237.30%8.50%11.90%9.30%9.00%13.10%1.90%1.70%3.30%4.00%
2015 Q337.10%8.50%11.70%9.00%9.00%12.90%1.90%1.80%3.40%1.10%3.50%
2015 Q436.80%8.50%11.60%8.70%8.90%12.60%1.90%2.10%3.50%1.20%4.00%
2016 Q136.20%8.40%11.30%8.70%8.70%12.50%1.90%2.40%3.70%1.40%4.80%
2016 Q235.60%8.50%10.90%8.60%8.80%12.40%1.90%2.60%3.70%1.50%5.50%
2016 Q335.20%8.40%10.50%8.80%8.80%12.30%1.90%2.60%3.70%1.70%6.10%
2016 Q435.10%8.50%10.30%8.70%8.70%12.20%1.90%2.50%3.50%1.90%6.70%
2017 Q134.40%8.50%9.90%8.30%9.00%12.00%1.90%2.50%3.50%2.00%8.00%
2017 Q233.20%8.50%10.60%8.20%9.00%11.40%1.90%2.50%3.30%2.00%9.40%
2017 Q332.00%8.80%10.50%8.30%8.90%11.20%1.90%2.70%3.20%2.10%10.40%
2017 Q430.80%8.60%10.80%8.20%8.70%11.20%1.90%2.90%3.30%2.20%11.50%
2018 Q130.50%8.40%10.90%7.90%8.50%10.90%1.90%3.20%3.20%2.30%1.20%11.10%
2018 Q229.90%8.40%10.70%7.50%8.20%10.60%1.90%3.20%3.10%2.40%2.10%12.00%
2018 Q329.10%8.20%10.60%7.20%8.10%10.40%1.90%3.20%2.90%2.40%2.90%1.30%11.60%
2018 Q428.70%8.30%10.50%6.90%8.50%10.10%2.00%4.00%2.90%2.40%3.10%1.60%11.00%
2019 Q128.20%8.40%10.30%6.60%8.40%9.90%2.00%4.60%2.80%2.50%3.60%2.20%10.60%
2019 Q228.10%8.20%10.00%6.40%8.00%9.70%2.00%4.40%3.10%2.50%4.20%2.60%1.20%9.60%
2019 Q327.90%8.30%9.90%5.90%7.70%9.60%2.00%4.20%3.00%2.70%4.50%3.10%1.40%1.20%8.60%
2019 Q427.80%8.50%10.00%5.60%7.90%9.40%2.00%4.00%2.90%2.60%4.80%4.40%1.50%1.20%7.40%
2020 Q127.30%8.40%10.20%5.40%7.90%0.00%2.00%13.10%3.30%2.60%5.00%5.10%1.60%1.30%6.80%

More information

At-a-glance summary

Between Q2 2011 and Q1 2020, the gas market share of the six largest suppliers dropped from nearly 100% to 72[% (the latter includes OVO’s market share after the acquisition of SSE and is up from 69% in Q4 2019). The market share for the largest gas supplier in the GB domestic market, British Gas, fell from 43% to 27%. The market share held by medium and small suppliers was 28% in Q1 2020, down from 31% in Q4 2019.

Relevance and further information

The evolution of market shares is a useful measure of trends in market concentration. They help us understand the impact between market shares and competitive dynamics and which companies are winning or losing customers.

Methodology

We calculate market shares from the number of meter points on the gas distribution networks, as provided to us by Xoserve. As of July 2017, supply points connected to independent gas transporters are included in the gas data provided by Xoserve.

The underlying data for the chart only include the individual market share for a supplier when it reaches a threshold of 1%. Only data for individual suppliers which currently exceed the 1% threshold are shown. All other suppliers are grouped together. We periodically review, typically with a lag of one quarter, the group of suppliers that we define as large, medium and small.

Rounding errors may mean that the combined market share across all suppliers does not exactly sum to 100%.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Electricity supply market shares by company: Domestic (GB) [13].

Source: Ofgem analysis of electricity distribution network operator reports.

Information correct as of: July 2020

This chart shows the domestic electricity market shares for each of the six large suppliers, medium and small suppliers.

Chart tip: To look at a specific data series or to switch a series view on and off, click on a title in the chart legend (e.g. British Gas).

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets

Data Table

Electricity supply market shares by company: Domestic (GB)
British GasEDFE.ONnpowerScottish PowerSSEShell EnergyOVO EnergyUtilitaUtility WarehouseBulbOctopus EnergyAvro EnergyGreen Network EnergySmall Suppliers
2004 Q124%14%21%15%11%14%1%
2004 Q224%14%21%15%12%15%0%
2004 Q324%14%21%15%12%15%0%
2004 Q423%13%21%15%13%15%0%
2005 Q122%13%21%15%13%15%0%
2005 Q222%13%21%15%13%16%1%
2005 Q322%13%20%15%13%16%1%
2005 Q422%13%20%15%13%16%1%
2006 Q122%13%20%15%13%16%0%
2006 Q222%14%20%15%13%16%0%
2006 Q322%14%20%15%12%17%0%
2006 Q422%14%19%16%12%17%0%
2007 Q122%14%19%16%12%18%0%
2007 Q222%14%19%16%12%18%0%
2007 Q322%13%18%16%12%18%0%
2007 Q422%13%18%15%12%18%0%
2008 Q122%13%18%15%12%19%0%
2008 Q222%13%18%15%12%19%0%
2008 Q322%13%18%15%12%19%0%
2008 Q422%13%18%15%12%19%0%
2009 Q122%13%18%15%12%20%0%
2009 Q223%13%18%15%12%20%0%
2009 Q323%13%18%15%12%20%0%
2009 Q423%13%18%14%12%20%0%
2010 Q124%13%17%14%12%20%1%
2010 Q224%13%17%14%12%20%1%
2010 Q324%13%17%14%12%20%1%
2010 Q425%13%17%14%11%20%1%
2011 Q125%13%17%14%11%20%1%
2011 Q225%13%17%14%11%20%1%
2011 Q325%13%17%14%11%19%1%
2011 Q425%13%17%14%11%19%1%
2012 Q125%13%17%14%11%19%1%
2012 Q225%13%17%14%11%19%1%
2012 Q325%13%17%14%11%19%1%
2012 Q424.70%13.00%16.90%13.50%11.70%18.30%1.80%
2013 Q124.80%12.90%16.70%13.40%11.70%18.30%2.20%
2013 Q224.90%13.00%16.60%13.20%11.70%18.20%2.30%
2013 Q325.00%13.00%16.50%13.20%11.70%18.10%2.40%
2013 Q424.30%13.40%16.60%11.90%11.70%17.70%1.10%1.80%
2014 Q123.90%13.30%16.10%11.70%11.60%17.50%1.40%3.00%
2014 Q223.80%13.10%15.90%11.50%11.50%17.20%1.80%1.20%1.60%2.40%
2014 Q323.60%13.00%15.60%11.30%11.30%17.00%2.20%1.30%1.70%2.80%
2014 Q423.60%12.90%15.70%11.00%11.20%16.60%2.50%1.50%1.70%3.20%
2015 Q123.60%12.50%15.70%10.90%11.20%16.30%2.80%1.60%1.70%3.60%
2015 Q223.50%12.40%15.70%10.80%11.20%16.10%3.00%1.60%1.70%4.10%
2015 Q323.50%12.20%15.50%10.50%11.10%15.90%3.10%1.70%1.80%4.60%
2015 Q423.50%12.20%15.30%10.20%11.10%15.60%3.20%2.00%1.00%1.80%4.20%
2016 Q123.10%12.00%15.10%10.10%10.80%15.40%3.30%2.30%1.10%1.80%4.90%
2016 Q222.80%12.00%14.60%9.90%10.90%15.30%3.40%2.40%1.30%1.80%5.70%
2016 Q322.60%11.90%14.20%10.10%10.80%15.20%3.30%2.40%1.40%1.80%6.30%
2016 Q422.80%11.80%14.00%9.90%10.70%15.10%3.20%2.40%1.60%1.80%6.80%
2017 Q122.40%11.70%13.50%9.50%11.00%14.90%3.10%2.30%1.80%1.80%8.00%
2017 Q222.30%11.50%13.40%9.60%10.60%14.40%2.90%2.40%1.90%1.80%9.20%
2017 Q321.30%11.70%13.40%9.70%10.40%14.30%2.80%2.60%2.00%1.80%10.20%
2017 Q420.50%11.40%13.50%9.60%10.20%14.20%2.90%2.80%2.10%1.80%11.20%
2018 Q120.30%11.20%13.50%9.30%10.00%13.90%2.80%3.00%2.10%1.80%1.10%10.90%
2018 Q219.90%11.10%13.30%8.90%9.70%13.60%2.70%3.10%2.30%1.80%1.90%11.80%
2018 Q319.40%10.80%13.10%8.60%9.50%13.40%2.60%3.10%2.30%1.80%2.70%1.30%11.40%
2018 Q419.20%10.80%13.00%8.20%10.00%13.00%2.50%4.00%2.30%1.80%3.00%1.60%10.60%
2019 Q118.90%10.80%12.50%8.00%9.80%12.80%2.50%4.50%2.50%1.90%3.70%2.10%10.20%
2019 Q218.90%10.60%12.10%7.70%9.30%12.60%2.80%4.40%2.50%1.90%4.50%2.50%1.00%9.30%
2019 Q318.70%10.60%12.00%7.30%9.10%12.40%2.70%4.20%2.60%1.90%5.00%3.00%1.20%1.10%8.40%
2019 Q418.70%10.70%12.00%6.90%9.20%12.10%2.60%4.00%2.60%1.90%5.40%4.30%1.20%1.10%7.20%
2020 Q118.40%10.60%12.10%6.70%9.20%0.00%2.90%15.80%2.60%1.90%5.70%4.90%1.40%1.20%6.70%

More information

At-a-glance summary

Between Q2 2011 and Q1 2020, the combined electricity market share of the six largest suppliers dropped from nearly 100% to 73% (the latter includes OVO’s market share after the acquisition of SSE and is up from 70% in Q4 2019). The market share held by medium and small suppliers was 27% in Q1 2020, down from 30% in Q4 2019.

Relevance and further information

The evolution of market shares is a useful measure of trends in market concentration. They help us understand the impact between market shares and competitive dynamics and which companies are winning or losing customers.

Methodology

We calculate market shares from the number of meter points on the electricity distribution networks, as provided to us by electricity distribution network operators.

The underlying data for the chart only include the individual market share for a supplier when it reaches a threshold of 1%. Only data for individual suppliers which currently exceed the 1% threshold are shown. All other suppliers are grouped together. We periodically review, typically with a lag of one quarter, the group of suppliers that we define as large, medium and small.

Due to the formatting of older data sources, figures prior to Q4 2012 do not contain decimal places. Rounding errors may mean that the combined market share across all suppliers does not exactly sum to 100%.

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Chart

Source: Ofgem analysis of distribution network operator (DNO) and Xoserve reports [15].

Information correct as of: July 2020

This chart shows the number of licenced suppliers that have started or stopped actively supplying customers in the GB domestic gas and electricity markets in each quarter in comparison to the total number of suppliers that continued to supply the market in the same period.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Supplier entries and exits in the domestic energy retail market (GB)
Supplier entriesSupplier exitsContinuing active suppliers
2016 Q13040
2016 Q21043
2016 Q34044
2016 Q45-248
2017 Q12051
2017 Q26053
2017 Q37-159
2017 Q43065
2018 Q13-168
2018 Q21-170
2018 Q30-370
2018 Q40-567
2019 Q11-462
2019 Q25059
2019 Q31-464
2019 Q41-461
2020 Q11-258

More information

At-a-glance-summary

There had been a steady increase in the number of licensed suppliers becoming active in the domestic energy markets up to mid-2018. In the second half of 2018, no new domestic suppliers became active, while eight suppliers left the market. During 2019, eight suppliers entered and twelve suppliers exited the market. In the first quarter of 2020, one supplier entered (Omni) and two suppliers left the market.  

In January 2020, OVO completed the purchase of SSE, while keeping SSE as a separate white label brand. This is shown in the chart as one exit of a licensed supplier between January 2020 and March 2020. The other exit included in this period is Engie, as its domestic business was acquired by Octopus and became effective from February 2020.

Between January 2020 and March 2020 one supplier (GNergy) ceased to trade and we had to appoint a SoLR. During the same period a number of exits via trade sales also happened for which the migration of customers is still ongoing. These include: npower (acquired by E.ON) and iSupply (EDF). These exits will be reflected in subsequent updates. 

 

Relevance and further information

This chart helps understand the GB energy market dynamics by showing the number of entries and exits that underpins the evolution in the number of active licensed suppliers over time.

For a breakdown of how many active suppliers are supplying each fuel type please go to our chart Number of active suppliers by fuel type [8].

Methodology

We calculate the number of entries, exits and total number of active licensed suppliers (i.e. those with customers) from the information that both network operators and suppliers provide to us. White label suppliers are not included in this number. White label suppliers are organisations without supply licenses that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using their own brand.

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Prices and profits

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Retail price comparison by company and tariff type: Domestic (GB) [17].

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

Information correct as of: September 2020

This chart shows trends in domestic energy bills by tariff offered by the six largest suppliers and all other suppliers. It compares their average standard variable tariffs with the default tariff cap and 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 April 2020, all prices shown in the chart are calculated using the latest Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) that entered into effect from 1 April 2020 (see the methodology section for more details).

In practical terms, this means that the tariffs shown from April 2020 are likely to appear slightly lower in price than those before April 2020. 

Before April 2020, the prices shown in the chart were calculated using the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) applicable at each date (for more details see the TDCV past values and review dates at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/gas/retail-market/monitoring-data-and-statistic... [19]).

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 [20].

 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Retail price comparison by company and tariff type: Domestic (GB)
DateAverage standard variable tariff (Six largest suppliers)Average standard variable tariff (Other suppliers)Cheapest tariff (Six largest suppliers)Cheapest tariff (All suppliers)Cheapest tariff (Basket)Default tariff cap level
28/01/2012 1,020.16 1,024.33 915.27 906.56 947.56
28/02/2012 1,000.76 1,017.41 886.18 878.10 930.29
28/03/2012 997.25 1,017.41 886.18 878.10 936.54
28/04/2012 997.25 1,017.35 895.69 878.10 937.68
28/05/2012 997.25 1,017.35 895.69 878.10 929.78
28/06/2012 997.25 1,032.16 895.69 895.69 945.53
28/07/2012 997.25 1,032.16 895.69 875.93 928.99
28/08/2012 997.25 1,030.02 899.10 875.93 924.85
28/09/2012 997.25 1,017.84 901.47 875.93 931.04
28/10/2012 1,009.00 1,020.51 906.17 893.85 956.00
28/11/2012 1,030.78 1,075.12 958.21 909.59 997.71
28/12/2012 1,061.80 1,087.65 990.70 909.59 994.59
28/01/2013 1,074.42 1,087.65 957.18 909.59 990.81
28/02/2013 1,074.42 1,119.05 957.18 909.59 994.56
28/03/2013 1,074.42 1,119.05 966.54 909.59 995.50
28/04/2013 1,074.42 1,119.05 966.54 909.59 988.37
28/05/2013 1,074.43 1,119.05 966.54 962.43 997.77
28/06/2013 1,074.43 1,119.05 966.54 769.95 967.26
28/07/2013 1,074.45 1,119.05 984.68 769.95 974.82
28/08/2013 1,074.45 1,119.05 971.77 769.95 988.47
28/09/2013 1,074.45 1,119.05 971.77 769.95 979.55
28/10/2013 1,074.45 1,127.02 1,011.80 769.95 995.67
28/11/2013 1,105.94 1,123.75 993.40 769.95 992.26
28/12/2013 1,138.95 1,123.75 1,033.47 769.95 997.00
28/01/2014 1,145.84 1,125.14 1,033.47 975.21 1,013.73
28/02/2014 1,134.09 1,128.76 1,033.97 966.34 1,014.19
28/03/2014 1,128.10 1,126.61 1,024.79 964.31 1,016.25
28/04/2014 1,128.10 1,129.62 1,000.38 946.42 995.26
28/05/2014 1,128.10 1,129.62 1,000.38 944.55 995.13
28/06/2014 1,128.10 1,129.62 1,000.38 944.55 992.88
28/07/2014 1,128.10 1,134.19 1,000.38 944.95 976.39
28/08/2014 1,128.10 1,127.79 1,000.38 943.43 978.98
28/09/2014 1,128.10 1,158.39 960.90 942.27 972.34
28/10/2014 1,128.10 1,131.80 953.40 931.02 960.15
28/11/2014 1,128.10 1,131.80 921.88 914.51 947.94
28/12/2014 1,128.10 1,130.51 916.21 906.14 929.69
28/01/2015 1,124.33 1,130.51 875.40 871.26 895.39
28/02/2015 1,106.65 1,110.84 839.28 839.28 881.39
28/03/2015 1,106.65 1,088.31 836.99 836.99 892.38
28/04/2015 1,106.65 1,075.32 834.57 834.57 878.56
28/05/2015 1,102.28 1,073.26 835.19 830.56 877.12
28/06/2015 1,102.28 1,073.26 835.71 830.56 871.21
28/07/2015 1,102.28 1,066.77 863.85 830.56 867.88
28/08/2015 1,098.03 1,066.77 876.03 830.56 868.79
28/09/2015 1,098.03 1,054.98 876.03 830.56 858.62
28/10/2015 1,098.03 1,050.12 803.00 793.93 823.00
28/11/2015 1,098.03 1,040.70 805.40 787.05 810.84
28/12/2015 1,098.03 1,039.03 850.52 787.05 803.86
28/01/2016 1,098.03 1,035.48 769.69 765.00 785.04
28/02/2016 1,092.69 1,020.06 738.38 738.38 755.65
28/03/2016 1,071.44 1,013.00 727.70 727.70 756.05
28/04/2016 1,065.97 978.55 723.91 723.91 751.58
28/05/2016 1,065.97 976.04 723.23 723.23 742.71
28/06/2016 1,065.97 984.02 723.23 723.23 751.36
28/07/2016 1,065.97 988.70 779.39 758.31 779.72
28/08/2016 1,065.97 983.86 801.37 769.65 789.25
28/09/2016 1,065.97 983.89 754.64 744.30 777.00
28/10/2016 1,065.97 994.93 803.54 741.92 786.41
28/11/2016 1,065.97 1,012.84 897.18 790.02 859.23
28/12/2016 1,065.97 1,019.72 951.51 790.02 872.16
28/01/2017 1,061.06 1,020.10 951.51 833.71 881.11
28/02/2017 1,081.27 1,027.06 928.48 829.10 869.79
28/03/2017 1,109.48 1,035.47 922.23 829.10 873.38
28/04/2017 1,122.28 1,041.56 923.55 863.31 874.62
28/05/2017 1,122.28 1,039.22 923.57 826.52 861.76
28/06/2017 1,122.28 1,026.98 923.57 835.76 852.58
28/07/2017 1,122.28 1,030.63 922.82 829.91 844.94
28/08/2017 1,122.28 1,030.76 910.05 810.11 839.30
28/09/2017 1,134.95 1,026.42 904.48 826.73 837.66
28/10/2017 1,134.95 1,031.41 897.98 826.73 854.69
28/11/2017 1,134.95 1,044.84 928.59 826.73 846.77
28/12/2017 1,134.95 1,040.86 973.04 798.72 841.48
28/01/2018 1,134.95 1,036.14 907.89 809.32 840.81
28/02/2018 1,134.95 1,039.85 900.98 810.06 840.58
28/03/2018 1,134.95 1,044.29 900.98 810.11 842.91
28/04/2018 1,138.28 1,061.81 1,000.42 788.16 820.46
28/05/2018 1,138.28 1,060.56 962.53 788.16 832.69
28/06/2018 1,172.20 1,066.39 953.16 796.99 845.91
28/07/2018 1,184.79 1,075.35 965.27 826.73 861.22
28/08/2018 1,194.00 1,091.02 951.33 842.49 897.02
28/09/2018 1,205.62 1,104.91 1,043.21 920.60 982.09
28/10/2018 1,220.65 1,124.27 1,051.27 920.60 989.84
28/11/2018 1,220.65 1,140.97 1,030.12 946.13 993.80
28/12/2018 1,220.65 1,142.96 1,034.69 902.66 983.19
28/01/2019 1,136.67 1,099.49 1,035.63 941.26 992.85 1,137.47
28/02/2019 1,136.67 1,097.67 1,008.69 929.66 974.58 1,137.47
28/03/2019 1,136.67 1,094.87 1,011.22 891.94 945.99 1,137.47
28/04/2019 1,253.94 1,152.11 1,024.59 880.20 929.55 1,254.00
28/05/2019 1,253.94 1,153.58 943.25 872.57 922.45 1,254.00
28/06/2019 1,253.94 1,148.88 932.24 872.57 897.80 1,254.00
28/07/20191,253.991,142.74989.24846.34890.44 1,254.00
28/08/20191,253.991,144.20949.41846.34893.221,254.00
28/09/20191,253.991,144.19931.39863.99903.751,254.00
28/10/20191,177.791,099.89914.31863.99893.751,179.00
28/11/20191,177.791099.80890.08846.04873.391,179.00
28/12/20191,177.791099.92903.02828.77872.341,179.00
28/01/20201,177.631,094.00872.49813.70840.521,179.00
28/02/20201,177.471,093.96843.14784.38815.501,179.00
28/03/20201,175.931,079.21835.30781.99805.091,179.00
28/04/20201,125.051,028.23806.35757.96783.381,127.00
28/05/20201,125.051,049.68807.72764.10790.881,127.00
28/06/20201,125.051,049.60819.32787.50804.071,127.00
28/07/20201,125.351,049.68851.44787.50812.481,127.00
28/08/20201,125.051,021.90853.66787.50806.621,127.00

More information

At-a-glance summary

As of August 2020, the average price of SVTs for the six largest suppliers for a typical dual fuel customer paying with direct debit was £1,125, unchanged from the previous month. The current default tariff cap for this summer period is set at £1,127. At the beginning of August we published the new cap level for the winter period, down to £1,042. This will come into effect on 1st October. Many suppliers have already announced new prices to comply with the new tariff cap level and will be covered in future updates.

The cheapest tariff in the market was £788 in August 2020, unchanged from July 2020. The cheapest tariff basket fell by £5, from £812 in July 2020 to £807 in August 2020. See the methodology for information on how the cheapest tariff basket is calculated.

As a result, the differential between the average price of SVTs for the six largest suppliers and the market cheapest tariff remained at £338, as in the previous month. The differential between the average price of SVTs for the six largest suppliers and the cheapest tariff basket rose from £313 in July 2020 to £318 in August 2020.

 

 

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 largest suppliers.

Methodology

We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical medium domestic consumer’. As of April 2020, typical domestic consumption values [19] (TDCV) for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 2,900kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). The previous typical domestic consumption values (TDCV), that came into effect as of October 2017, were 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 chose 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 licenses 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.

close [21]

Chart

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

Information correct as of: September 2020

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 paying by direct debit.

From April 2020, the prices shown in the chart are calculated using the latest Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) that entered into effect from 1 April 2020 (see the methodology section for more details).

In practical terms, this means that the tariffs shown from April 2020 are likely to appear slightly lower in price than those before April 2020. 

Before April 2020, the prices shown in the chart were calculated using the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) applicable at each date (for more details see the TDCV past values and review dates at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/gas/retail-market/monitoring-data-and-statistic... [19]).

 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Cheapest tariffs by payment method: Typical domestic dual fuel customer (GB)
DateSix largest suppliers (direct debit)Six largest suppliers (standard credit)Six largest suppliers (prepayment)Market (direct debit)Market (standard credit)Market (prepayment)
28/01/2012 915.27 976.70 1,021.54 906.56 971.04 969.61
28/02/2012 886.18 976.70 1,021.54 878.10 971.04 969.61
28/03/2012 886.18 976.70 1,021.54 878.10 971.04 969.61
28/04/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 878.10 953.40 969.24
28/05/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 878.10 890.12 969.24
28/06/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 895.69 953.40 1,017.42
28/07/2012 895.69 953.40 1,021.54 875.93 953.40 1,017.42
28/08/2012 899.10 957.03 1,021.54 875.93 957.03 1,017.42
28/09/2012 901.47 1,020.71 1,021.54 875.93 988.14 1,017.42
28/10/2012 906.17 1,020.71 1,069.39 893.85 988.14 1,019.30
28/11/2012 958.21 1,020.71 1,069.39 909.59 979.35 1,045.64
28/12/2012 990.70 1,071.38 1,133.19 909.59 979.35 1,045.64
28/01/2013 957.18 1,037.20 1,133.19 909.59 979.35 1,045.64
28/02/2013 957.18 1,037.20 1,133.19 909.59 1,037.20 1,045.64
28/03/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 909.59 1,046.57 1,045.64
28/04/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 909.59 1,046.57 1,045.64
28/05/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 962.43 996.90 1,045.64
28/06/2013 966.54 1,046.57 1,133.19 769.95 996.90 1,045.64
28/07/2013 984.68 1,075.51 1,133.19 769.95 996.90 1,045.64
28/08/2013 971.77 1,051.79 1,133.19 769.95 1,051.79 1,045.64
28/09/2013 971.77 1,051.79 1,133.19 769.95 1,051.79 1,045.64
28/10/2013 1,011.80 1,079.91 1,133.19 769.95 1,070.99 1,093.35
28/11/2013 993.40 1,058.15 1,150.97 769.95 1,058.15 1,093.35
28/12/2013 1,033.47 1,101.65 1,178.61 769.95 1,101.65 1,093.35
28/01/2014 1,033.47 1,101.65 1,178.61 975.21 1,101.65 1,172.77
28/02/2014 1,033.97 1,108.10 1,178.61 966.34 1,108.10 1,172.77
28/03/2014 1,024.79 1,117.27 1,178.61 964.31 1,117.27 1,171.39
28/04/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,178.61 946.42 1,069.95 1,171.39
28/05/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,178.61 944.55 1,069.95 1,171.39
28/06/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,170.86 944.55 1,069.95 1,162.40
28/07/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,170.86 944.95 1,029.05 1,162.40
28/08/2014 1,000.38 1,069.95 1,170.86 943.43 1,038.88 1,154.43
28/09/2014 960.90 1,030.95 1,170.86 942.27 1,030.95 1,154.43
28/10/2014 953.40 1,046.45 1,170.86 931.02 1,024.45 1,154.43
28/11/2014 921.88 1,003.79 1,170.86 914.51 1,003.79 1,154.43
28/12/2014 916.21 1,003.79 1,170.86 906.14 1,003.79 1,151.22
28/01/2015 875.40 945.46 1,148.99 871.26 945.46 1,148.99
28/02/2015 839.28 955.07 1,148.90 839.28 950.35 1,148.90
28/03/2015 836.99 907.24 1,148.99 836.99 907.24 1,116.99
28/04/2015 834.57 977.56 1,141.64 834.57 950.63 1,116.99
28/05/2015 835.19 905.44 1,141.64 830.56 905.44 1,116.99
28/06/2015 835.71 981.78 1,122.97 830.56 940.90 1,116.99
28/07/2015 863.85 981.78 1,122.97 830.56 939.85 1,116.99
28/08/2015 876.03 977.32 1,128.54 830.56 940.27 1,116.99
28/09/2015 876.03 963.77 1,128.54 830.56 907.26 1,100.94
28/10/2015 803.00 873.25 1,128.54 793.93 844.04 1,100.94
28/11/2015 805.40 950.75 1,128.54 787.05 844.04 1,055.61
28/12/2015 850.52 950.75 1,102.20 787.05 844.04 1,055.61
28/01/2016 769.69 839.94 1,102.20 765.00 839.94 1,055.61
28/02/2016 738.38 808.63 1,092.26 738.38 808.63 1,054.20
28/03/2016 727.70 797.76 1,070.37 727.70 797.76 1,051.22
28/04/2016 723.91 793.48 1,070.37 723.91 793.48 1,030.27
28/05/2016 723.23 877.12 1,037.31 723.23 877.12 1,017.61
28/06/2016 723.23 847.45 1,037.31 723.23 847.45 985.97
28/07/2016 779.39 904.97 1,037.31 758.31 871.54 985.97
28/08/2016 801.37 941.42 1,043.54 769.65 871.54 985.97
28/09/2016 754.64 839.15 1,043.54 744.30 839.15 985.97
28/10/2016 803.54 967.13 1,043.54 741.92 829.42 985.97
28/11/2016 897.18 1,002.63 1,035.64 790.02 907.75 985.97
28/12/2016 951.51 1,031.57 1,035.64 790.02 923.48 985.97
28/01/2017 951.51 1,031.57 1,035.64 833.71 951.58 985.97
28/02/2017 928.48 1,033.40 1,015.43 829.10 935.19 970.67
28/03/2017 922.23 1,016.74 1,019.21 829.10 949.48 970.67
28/04/2017 923.55 1,018.06 994.53 863.31 946.43 970.67
28/05/2017 923.57 1,018.08 994.53 826.52 923.47 979.27
28/06/2017 923.57 1,018.08 994.53 835.76 923.23 979.27
28/07/2017 922.82 1,017.33 994.53 829.91 923.23 979.27
28/08/2017 910.05 1,004.56 988.90 810.11 923.47 979.27
28/09/2017 904.48 1,051.43 988.90 826.73 923.47 979.27
28/10/2017 897.98 1,012.47 988.90 826.73 943.35 978.04
28/11/2017 928.59 1,100.89 988.90 826.73 958.08 978.04
28/12/2017 973.04 1,051.43 988.90 798.72 958.08 957.12
28/01/2018 907.89 1,051.43 988.90 809.32 958.08 960.06
28/02/2018 900.98 1,050.87 1,028.21 810.06 958.08 945.76
28/03/2018 900.98 1,074.65 1,028.21 810.11 958.08 945.76
28/04/2018 1,000.42 1,143.14 1,030.55 788.16 958.08 946.63
28/05/2018 962.53 1,057.04 1,030.93 788.16 958.08 946.63
28/06/2018 953.16 1,033.19 1,070.34 796.99 958.08 946.63
28/07/2018 965.27 1,045.29 1,070.34 826.73 990.66 946.63
28/08/2018 951.33 1,198.37 1,070.50 842.49 990.68 946.54
28/09/2018 1,043.21 1,138.84 1,070.50 920.60 1,067.64 983.86
28/10/2018 1,051.27 1,164.58 1,070.50 920.60 1,107.76 983.86
28/11/2018 1,030.12 1,055.76 1,115.66 946.13 1,055.76 983.86
28/12/2018 1,034.69 1,134.34 1,115.66 902.66 1,109.27 983.86
28/01/2019 1,035.63 1,125.84 1,115.66 941.26 941.26 1,016.48
28/02/2019 1,008.69 1,040.00 1,115.66 929.66 1,040.00 1,023.39
28/03/2019 1,011.22 1,040.00 1,115.66 891.94 1,040.00 1,023.39
28/04/2019 1,024.59 1,228.88 1,115.66 880.20 1,098.83 1,023.39
28/05/2019 943.25 1,089.67 1,224.01 872.57 1,087.91 1,052.46
28/06/2019 932.24 1,015.84 1,224.01 872.57 1,015.84 1,052.46
28/07/2019989.241079.451,224.01846.341,070.101,052.46
28/08/2019949.411053.051215.59846.341053.051052.46
28/09/2019931.391042.701215.59863.991042.701052.46
28/10/2019914.31995.611,198.83863.99994.921,044.49
28/11/2019890.08971.381,165.94846.04971.381,044.49
28/12/2019903.021,110.291,165.94828.77988.461,044.49
28/01/2020872.491,110.291,152.95813.70988.461,006.82
28/02/2020843.14924.441,152.95784.38910.291,006.82
28/03/2020835.30916.601,146.81781.99910.291,006.82
28/04/2020806.35888.211098.07757.96882.76982.07
28/05/2020807.72925.861,098.07764.10882.76982.07
28/06/2020819.32925.861,098.07787.50882.76982.07
28/07/2020851.44958.111,098.07787.50882.76982.07
28/08/2020853.66958.111,098.07787.50882.76982.07

More information

At-a-glance summary

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

The overall cheapest tariffs have continued to be those for direct debit customers. However, the ranking between standard credit and prepayment cheapest tariffs has fluctuated over time. The lowest standard credit tariff on the market was £859. Among the six largest suppliers, the cheapest standard credit tariff remained at £958 in August 2020, the same as for July 2020. This is still less expensive than the cheapest prepayment tariff, which in August 2020 is unchanged at  £1,098.

At the end of August 2020, the cheapest direct debit tariff in the market was £71 less expensive than the cheapest standard credit tariff and £195  less than the cheapest prepayment tariff. The cheapest direct debit tariff has historically been at least £100 less expensive than the cheapest standard credit tariff.

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

 

Relevance and further information

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

Methodology

We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical medium domestic consumer’. As of April 2020, typical domestic consumption values [19] (TDCV) for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 2,900kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). The previous typical domestic consumption values (TDCV), that came into effect as of October 2017 were 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 licenses that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using their own brand.

close [21]

Chart

Source: Energyhelpline; Suppliers.

Information correct as of: July 2020

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

In this period, Bulb was offering only one tariff.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Average tariff prices by supplier: Standard variable and fixed default vs cheapest available tariffs (GB)
SupplierSupplier's annual average fixed term default tariffSupplier's average annual standard variable tariffSupplier's cheapest annual average tariffMarket cheapest annual average tariffDefault tariff cap
British Gas1,123 1,1231,0257661,127
E.ON1,1268157661,127
EDF1,1268227661,127
Scottish Power1,1268717661,127
npower1,1251,1268257661,127
Shell Energy1,1268507661,127
OVO Energy1,1259527661,127
Utility Warehouse1,1209647661,127
Green Network Energy1,1058007661,127
Bulb9159157661,127
Avro Energy 1,0577937661,127
Octopus Energy1,0309788397661,127

More information

At-a-glance summary

In Q2 2020, the average standard variable tariff (‘SVT’) price for a domestic customer with one of the twelve larger suppliers for customers on direct debit payment methods ranged between £915 and £1,126. This period coincided with the fourth default tariff cap period. The average SVT prices of seven of the twelve suppliers were within £5 of the cap level, set at £1,127 in this period.

In this period, three suppliers had fixed term default tariffs. The cheapest fixed term default tariff was offered by Octopus Energy, including its white label brands, and priced on average at £1,030 during the period. The most expensive one was offered by npower, at £1,125 on average.

All of the average cheapest deals in this period were above the average market cheapest tariff of £798, ranging between £793 and £1,025. The average SVT price differentials in the period were between £97 (excluding Bulb) and £316 relative to these suppliers' cheapest tariffs. The SVT price differentials were between £149 and £360 relative to the market cheapest tariff.

In January 2020, OVO completed the purchase of SSE, while keeping SSE as a separate white label brand, with different tariff offers. From January 2020, all OVO’s prices, include SSE and other white labels.  

For an overview of the SVT and price trends over time see our chart on the Retail price comparison by company and tariff type [17].

Relevance and further information

This chart measures the savings available to customers on default tariffs if they change tariff or switch supplier.

It should be considered jointly with our charts on the Number of domestic gas customer accounts by supplier (excluding prepayment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB) [26] and the Number of domestic electricity customer accounts by supplier (excluding prepayment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB) [27]

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

For previous updates, please see our page here [28].

Methodology

  • We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical medium domestic consumer’. As of October 2017, typical consumption values for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 3,100kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). All tariffs shown in the chart are for a dual fuel, direct debit customer. 
  • We use weekly prices across the quarter prior to publication to calculate the average SVT price. We take the price data for each Monday of every week in the analysed period. The source is Energyhelpline for SVT and cheapest tariffs, while fixed term default tariffs are sourced from suppliers. SVT prices in this chart always refer to paper billing prices. 
  • We use the same calculations to produce the average cheapest tariff price for each supplier and for the average market cheapest tariff price. When calculating the cheapest tariff at both individual supplier and market level, we exclude tariffs restricted to certain regions. This is so we give a representative picture of tariffs generally available to all customers across GB. 
  • When calculating the cheapest tariff at individual supplier level, we include tariffs only available to existing customers (also known as ‘retention' tariffs) and exclude tariffs only available to new customers (also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs). 
  • When calculating the cheapest tariff at market level, we include tariffs only available to new customers (also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs) and exclude tariffs only available to existing customers (also known as ‘retention' tariffs). 
  • Collective tariffs or exclusive deals only available through a supplier’s website or through a specific price comparison website are included to the extent they are ‘open collective switches’ available to all customers. We also include tariffs restricted to a particular payment method, except for prepayment. 
  • The cheapest tariffs can include fixed and variable tariffs, may or may not involve exit fees, rewards or discounts, may only be available online and may be offered by any suppliers active in the market. Some suppliers included in the average market cheapest tariffs may not offer the Warm Home Discount. 
  • We include tariffs available with ‘white label’ providers in the calculation of the market cheapest tariff. Where relevant, we have also included them in the cheapest tariff offered by the parent supplier of the ‘white label’. ‘White label’ providers are organisations without supply licences that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity tariffs using their own brand.
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Prepayment price cap and prices since January 2016 (GB) [29].

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

Information correct as of: September 2020

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

From April 2020, the prices shown in the chart are calculated using the latest Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) that entered into effect from 1 April 2020 (see the methodology section for more details).

In practical terms, this means that the tariffs shown from April 2020 are likely to appear slightly lower than those before April 2020.

Before April 2020, the prices shown in the chart were calculated using the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) applicable at each date (for more details see the TDCV past values and review dates at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/gas/retail-market/monitoring-data-and-statistics/typical-domestic-consumption-values).

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Electricity - wholesale markets
  • Gas - retail markets
  • Gas - wholesale markets

Data Table

Prepayment price cap and prices since January 2016 (GB)
DateSVT - prepayment (market average)Cheapest tariff - prepayment (all suppliers)Prepayment price cap
28/12/2015 1,163.44 1,055.61
28/01/2016 1,163.18 1,055.61
28/02/2016 1,158.61 1,054.20
28/03/2016 1,138.39 1,051.22
28/04/2016 1,131.32 1,030.27
28/05/2016 1,131.32 1,017.61
28/06/2016 1,131.32 985.97
28/07/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/08/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/09/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/10/2016 1,130.22 985.97
28/11/2016 1,122.72 985.97
28/12/2016 1,122.72 985.97
28/01/2017 1,115.77 985.97
28/02/2017 1,061.14 970.67
28/03/2017 1,059.99 970.67
28/04/2017 1,032.30 970.67 1,050.35
28/05/2017 1,032.30 979.27 1,050.35
28/06/2017 1,032.30 979.27 1,050.35
28/07/2017 1,032.69 979.27 1,050.35
28/08/2017 1,031.31 979.27 1,050.35
28/09/2017 1,034.46 979.27 1,050.35
28/10/2017 1,030.60 978.04 1,031.27
28/11/2017 1,030.60 978.04 1,031.27
28/12/2017 1,030.60 957.12 1,031.27
28/01/2018 1,030.72 960.06 1,031.27
28/02/2018 1,030.72 945.76 1,031.27
28/03/2018 1,030.85 945.76 1,031.27
28/04/2018 1,079.09 946.63 1,088.55
28/05/2018 1,086.20 946.63 1,088.55
28/06/2018 1,086.19 946.63 1,088.55
28/07/2018 1,086.08 946.63 1,088.55
28/08/2018 1,086.06 946.54 1,088.55
28/09/2018 1,086.06 983.86 1,088.55
28/10/2018 1,135.42 983.86 1,135.99
28/11/2018 1,135.42 983.86 1,135.99
28/12/2018 1,135.42 983.86 1,135.99
28/01/2019 1,135.23 1,016.48 1,135.99
28/02/2019 1,135.23 1,023.39 1,135.99
28/03/2019 1,135.23 1,023.39 1,135.99
28/04/2019 1,241.44 1,023.39 1,242.07
28/05/2019 1,241.44 1,052.46 1,242.07
28/06/2019 1,241.44 1,052.46 1,242.07
28/07/20191,241.521,052.46 1,242.07
28/08/20191,241.521,052.461,242.07
28/09/20191,240.251,052.461,242.07
28/10/20191,211.501,044.491,217.00
28/11/20191,211.501,044.491,217.00
28/12/20191,212.201,044.491,217.00
28/01/20201,208.821006.821,217.00
28/02/20201,211.041,006.821,217.00
28/03/20201,211.041,006.821,217.00
28/04/20201,158.24982.071,164.00
28/05/20201163.35982.071164.00
28/06/20201163.35982.071164.00
28/07/20201162.45982.071164.00
28/08/20201162.45982.071164.00

More information

At-a-glance summary

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

As of August 2020, the weighted average price of SVTs for a dual fuel prepayment customer remained at £1,162, unchanged from July 2020. The current prepayment meter cap for this summer period is set at £1,164. At the beginning of August we published the new cap level for the winter period, down to £1,070. This will come into effect on 1 October. Many suppliers have already announced new prices to comply with the new tariff cap level and will be covered in future updates.

The cheapest prepayment tariffs available in the market have remained below the average SVT for a prepayment customer following the introduction of the prepayment price cap. The cheapest prepayment tariff has remained constant at £982 in August 2020. Therefore, the differential between the average SVT and the cheapest prepayment tariff remains at £180, the same as July 2020.  

For more information on the latest updates, see our chart Breakdown of the prepayment price cap [31].

Relevance and further information

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

Customers who get the Government’s Warm Home Discount (WHD) and are on a standard variable or default tariff were protected by a ‘safeguard tariff’ set at the level of the prepayment price cap until the end of 2018, after which they were transferred to the default tariff price cap [32]. The default tariff price cap came into effect on 1 January 2019, limiting the amount that suppliers can charge customers on default tariffs. The default tariff cap has different levels set to reflect how customers pay, where they live and the type of energy meter they have. When transferred, WHD customers will be placed on the cheaper default cap level set for direct debit payment methods – it won’t matter how they pay.

You can find further information on energy price caps here [33].

 

 

Methodology

We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical medium domestic consumer’. As of April 2020, typical consumption values [19] for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 2,900kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). The previous typical domestic consumption values (TDCV), that came into effect as of October 2017 were 12,000kWh/year for gas and 3,100kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). All prices shown are for a dual fuel customer (i.e. where a customer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier). 

The market average SVTs are based on the prices of the 12 largest suppliers in the prepayment segment. We have weighted the SVT of each supplier using an estimate of their total share of all prepayment accounts (for prepayment). We update the weightings every six months in January and July to reflect customer numbers four months prior to publication. The time lag is due to data availability. For example, the average given for 28 January 2017 uses weights based on customer numbers at 31 October 2016, while the average for 28 December 2016 uses weights at 31 March 2016. 

An SVT refers to a supply contract which is for a period of an indefinite length, and which does not have a fixed-term period applying to any of the terms and conditions. It’s an energy supplier’s basic offer. If a customer does not choose a specific energy plan, for example after their fixed tariff ends, they will be moved onto an SVT until they have chosen a new one. A customer can also make an active choice to select an SVT. 

We exclude tariffs with limited availability – such as tariffs only available to new customers (also known as ‘acquisition’ tariffs) or tariffs restricted to certain regions - when calculating the market cheapest tariff. This is so we give a representative picture of tariffs generally available to all customers across GB. 

We include tariffs available with ‘white label’ suppliers in our calculation of the cheapest tariffs. White label suppliers are organisations without supply licenses that partner with an active licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using their own brand. 

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Chart

Source: Suppliers [15].

Information correct as of: July 2020

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

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

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

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers
  • Electricity - retail markets

Data Table

Number of domestic gas customer accounts by supplier (excluding pre-payment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)
Default tariffs (3 years or more)Default tariffs (less than 3 years)Other non-standard variable tariffsFixed tariff - active choice
British Gas2047092120738802161784
OVO Energy781649747396103077834702
E.ON51167752835801039364
EDF Energy24836837255601130015
ScottishPower22193038077601012900
npower2793572558968213606208
Bulb13568109725400
Octopus Energy6853634101113830325
Shell Energy35894116172447479085
Utility Warehouse1058079523917729161068
Avro Energy05469189318313
Green Network Energy0225200273868

More information

At-a-glance summary

Focusing on the suppliers shown in the chart, with the exception of Bulb, as of April 2020, the overall proportion of domestic gas customer accounts on default tariffs (both standard variable and fixed default tariffs) not paying via the prepayment payment method was 48%, a decrease from 50% in October 2019 when comparing to the same group of suppliers. The number of domestic customer accounts on default tariffs are split between those accounts held for three years or more (24%) and those held for less than three years (24%). All other accounts were on actively chosen fixed tariffs (50%), and on other non-standard variable tariffs (2%). The proportions vary significantly across suppliers due to each supplier's business model, the characteristics of their customers and the tariffs they offer.

The above aggregated figures do not include Bulb’s customer accounts. This is because, as of April 2020, they offered only one variable tariff, which, while being an SVT, was priced similarly to fixed tariffs and was used to acquire customers.

When considering gas customer accounts on all payment methods, the proportion on default tariffs in April 2020, based on the data for the suppliers shown in the chart excluding Bulb, was 54%.

.

Relevance and further information

This chart tracks the number of domestic electricity customer accounts on different tariff types. We also publish a chart tracking the number of domestic electricity customer accounts on different tariff types [27]. Along with other switching and consumer research statistics, these charts help us understand customer engagement with the energy market.

These should be considered jointly with our chart, Average tariff prices by supplier: Standard variable and fixed default vs cheapest available tariffs (GB) [24].

Our data shows default tariffs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. Among the suppliers included in the chart, excluding Bulb, around 11 million domestic gas accounts (9 million excluding prepayment payment methods) were on default tariffs as of 1 October 2019. These customers are potentially missing out on significant savings on their bills compared to cheaper tariffs from their existing or another supplier. 

For previous updates, please see our page Standard variable tariff indicators - previous updates [28].

Methodology

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

The different tariff types that this chart refers to are:

Default tariffs

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

An SVT is a supply contract with an indefinite length that does not have a fixed-term applying to the terms and conditions. It’s an energy supplier’s basic offer. If a customer does not choose a specific energy plan, for example after their fixed tariff ends, they are moved to an SVT until they choose a new one. A customer can also make an active choice to select an SVT.

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

Other non-standard variable tariffs

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

Active Choice Fixed tariffs

A fixed tariff is a supply contract with terms and conditions which apply for a fixed period (for example, a contract offered by a supplier that has a standing and unit price that is fixed for a year). An active choice tariff is a tariff which a customer actively signs up to.

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Chart

Source: Suppliers [15].

Information correct as of: July 2020

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

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

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

Policy Areas:

  • Domestic consumers
  • Electricity - retail markets

Data Table

Number of domestic electricity customer accounts by supplier (excluding pre-payment customers): Standard variable, fixed and other tariffs (GB)
Default tariffs (3 years or more)Default tariffs (less than 3 years)Other non-standard variable tariffsFixed tariff - active choice
British Gas1213910117128901895149
OVO Energy13281879783701006241043732
E.ON97511776464001302216
EDF Energy64307257490201380171
ScottishPower41322950427501220457
npower55856935557512008758139
Bulb14506149759300
Octopus Energy10044469631278940619
Shell Energy39984128596474515781
Utility Warehouse12231011279920000568478
Avro Energy0563291914318209
Green Network Energy0264900301782

More information

At-a-glance summary

Focusing on the suppliers shown in the chart, with the exception of Bulb, as of April 2020, the overall proportion of domestic electricity customer accounts on default tariffs (both standard variable and fixed default tariffs) not paying via the prepayment payment method was 51%, down from 53% in October 2019 when comparing to the same group of suppliers. The number of domestic customer accounts on default tariffs are split between those accounts held for three years or more (26%) and those held for less than three years (25%). All other accounts were on actively chosen fixed tariffs (48%) and on other non-standard variable tariffs (2%). These percentages do not add up to 100% due to rounding errors. The proportions vary significantly across suppliers due to each supplier's business model, the characteristics of their customers and the tariffs they offer.

The above aggregated figures do not include Bulb’s customer accounts. This is because, as of April 2020, they offered only one variable tariff, which, while being an SVT, was priced similarly to fixed tariffs and was used to acquire customers.

When considering electricity customer accounts on all payment methods, the proportion on default tariffs in April 2020, based on the data for the suppliers shown in the chart excluding Bulb, was 57%.

Relevance and further information

This chart tracks the number of domestic electricity customer accounts on different tariff types. We also publish a chart tracking the number of domestic gas customer accounts on different tariff types [26]. Along with other switching and consumer research statistics, these charts help us understand customer engagement with the energy market.

These should be considered jointly with our chart, Average tariff prices by supplier: Standard variable and fixed default vs cheapest available tariffs (GB) [24].

Our data shows default tariffs are usually more expensive than other deals available in the market. Among the suppliers included in the chart, excluding Bulb, around 14 million domestic electricity accounts (11 million excluding prepayment payment methods) were on default tariffs as of 1 October 2019. These customers are potentially missing out on significant savings on their bills compared to cheaper tariffs from their existing or another supplier.

For previous updates, please see our page Standard variable tariff indicators - previous updates [28].

Methodology

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

The different tariff types that this chart refers to are:

Default tariffs

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

An SVT is a supply contract with an indefinite length that does not have a fixed-term applying to the terms and conditions. It’s an energy supplier’s basic offer. If a customer does not choose a specific energy plan, for example after their fixed tariff ends, they are moved to an SVT until they choose a new one. A customer can also make an active choice to select an SVT.

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

Other non-standard variable tariffs

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

Active Choice Fixed tariffs

A fixed tariff is a supply contract with terms and conditions which apply for a fixed period (for example, a contract offered by a supplier that has a standing and unit price that is fixed for a year). An active choice tariff is a tariff which a customer actively signs up to.

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Chart

Source: Companies’ consolidated segmental statements [37].

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart shows the combined gas and electricity pre-tax domestic supply margins of the six large suppliers. It is based on information reported by the large suppliers in their annual Consolidated Segmental Statements [39].

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

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Pre-tax domestic supply margins of large suppliers, combined gas and electricity
British GasE.ONEDFnpowerScottishPowerSSEAggregate
20097.59%-2.62%-7.50%-6.93%1.72%2.31%0.89%
20108.88%0.48%-3.87%-4.66%-0.17%5.95%3.04%
20116.86%1.98%-4.84%-1.81%-0.43%5.77%2.80%
20126.64%2.26%-3.04%3.61%4.51%6.36%4.25%
20136.14%4.01%-2.76%3.41%4.77%3.91%3.94%
20145.30%5.06%-0.24%2.65%5.79%6.04%4.46%
20157.56%4.52%-0.69%-6.78%5.67%6.25%4.15%
20167.18%6.95%-0.87%-6.26%5.20%6.95%4.48%
20178.01%5.21%0.93%-4.88%0.46%6.83%4.20%
20186.74%-0.28%1.76%-4.32%4.16%2.46%2.74%
20192.00%-1.33%-6.15%-7.34%-2.08%0.00%-1.48%

More information

Pre-tax supply margins of the largest suppliers: At-a-glance summary

Between 2009 and 2016, the average combined gas and electricity pre-tax domestic supply margin across the six large suppliers grew from around 1% to around 4%, with significant differences between the suppliers’ margins.

Between 2016 and 2019, profits earned by the six large suppliers continued to vary substantially, but generally showed a decrease in the average combined gas and electricity pre-tax domestic supply margin, falling to -1.5% in 2019. All six large suppliers experienced a reduction relative to 2018 values, leading to a lower variation across suppliers’ margins in 2019 compared to previous years. All suppliers, except for Centrica, made a loss in the domestic supply segment in 2019. EDF and Scottish Power saw the largest decrease in their margins, falling from 1.8% to -6.1% and from 4.2% to -2.1% respectively. E.ON experienced the smallest change, from -0.3% to -1.3%.

In 2020, OVO completed the purchase of SSE and E.ON acquired npower. The Consolidated Segmental Statements of 2019 are not affected by these sale transactions.

Relevance and further information

This chart helps us understand trends in profits in the domestic supply market and how they differ between suppliers.

Methodology

The supply margins shown in this chart are the ratio between a company’s Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) - the ‘pre-tax margin’ - and its total revenues from supplying gas and electricity.

A supplier’s pre-tax margin is calculated by subtracting from a company’s total revenue its total direct costs, total indirect costs (such as operating costs), depreciation and amortisation for supplying energy.

Figures are calculated using information from companies’ annual Consolidated Segmental Statements [39]. They relate to the suppliers’ financial years. Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December, whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March. 

The data in this chart may differ from the data that can be found in the company’s externally-published Consolidated Segmental Statements. This is because we have made some adjustments to the way in which exceptional items are reported among suppliers to improve comparability.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Large suppliers: Domestic dual fuel bill breakdown over time [40].

Source: Ofgem analysis of companies’ Consolidated Segmental Statements [41].

Information correct as of: August 2020

This chart provides an estimate of the breakdown of a dual fuel bill over time for an average domestic customer of the large suppliers.  It is based on information reported by the large suppliers in their annual Consolidated Segmental Statements [41]. For more information, please see our page Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers [43]. Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) – which we also refer to as suppliers’ pre-tax margins – are calculated as revenue minus costs, before accounting for taxes and interest.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Large suppliers: Domestic dual fuel bill breakdown over time
Wholesale costsDirect costsNetwork costsEnvironmental/social costsOther direct costsOperating costsEBITVATBill
20096212901328521095
201058828016035531116
201153728715230501057
201261234716153591232
2013628276109016349611286
2014532278100516651571190
201550627986718249551165
2016425292911319354531123
20174042841081420549531117
20184452811341621733561184
201946427915318216-16561171

More information

Domestic dual fuel bill breakdown over time: At-a-glance summary

Between 2009 and 2019, the average domestic dual fuel bill has fluctuated, reaching a peak of £1,286 in 2013. In 2019 it decreased to £1,171 from £1,184 in 2018. Both average wholesale and environmental/social costs reported by the large suppliers increased in 2019, while other costs remained fairly unchanged. Given the continued competitive pressure and the introduction of the default price cap in 2019, suppliers could not pass through these cost increases to customers and, on average, experienced a loss (the EBIT component was down to -£16 in 2019 from £33 in 2018).

Relevance and further information

This indicator helps to explain the costs making up an average dual fuel bill and show the factors influencing total bills in a given year. The costs that make up a bill are wholesale costs, network costs, environmental and social obligation costs, operating costs (including depreciation and amortisation), supplier pre-tax margin and VAT.

Methodology

To estimate the breakdown of an average gas and electricity bill, we took the sum of each category of costs and pre-tax supply margins as reported by the suppliers for each fuel and then divided by the total number of customers for that fuel. We then added VAT at 5% and summed the implied bill components for gas and electricity together to derive an estimate of the overall costs making up a dual fuel bill.

Note that because it is based on the total costs and customer numbers reported by suppliers irrespective of their tariff type, the bill breakdown for gas will reflect a mixture of the costs of serving gas to dual fuel and single fuel customers – and the same also applies to electricity. As such, the dual fuel breakdown should be considered an approximation in that it will reflect a combination of the costs incurred in serving gas and electricity to both dual fuel and single fuel customers (which may differ if, for example, electricity-only customers consume more electricity than those customers that are also supplied with gas).

The data presented is based on the latest available Consolidated Segmental Statements [41]. It 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 the way in which exceptional items are reported among suppliers to improve comparability.

Figures relate to the suppliers’ financial years. Five of the companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower and ScottishPower) have financial years ending in December, whereas SSE’s financial year runs from April to March.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Breakdown of the prepayment price cap (GBP £) [31].

Source: Ofgem analysis.

Information correct as of: April 2020

This chart shows a breakdown of the costs that make up the prepayment meter price cap. It helps to explain the relationship between the level of the prepayment price cap we set, and the different cost factors that influence it each time we update it. We update this chart to reflect the levels of the prepayment price cap that come into effect in April and October each year.

The prepayment price cap limits how much a supplier can charge customers on prepayment meters per unit of energy. It doesn’t cap the total cost of a bill. That’s because the amount customers pay also depends on how much gas or electricity they’ve used. Suppliers can charge less than the set level of the cap, but not more. All prices shown here are for a dual fuel customer with typical energy use.

As of April 2020, all the costs shown in this chart are calculated using the latest Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) that entered into effect from 1st April 2020 (see more methodology section for more details).

In practical terms, this means that previous publications on the level and costs of the cap will not be exactly the same.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for a summary of the latest trends, details of how to interpret the component costs and allowances, and for information on our methodology.

Note *: Following a change in methodology the values for 2019/20 winter onwards are not directly comparable to previous periods.

**: The change in methodology has made it possible to identify EBIT as a cost component distinct from the headroom allowance as in previous periods.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Breakdown of the prepayment price cap (GBP £)
Wholesale costsNetwork costsPolicy costsOther, indirect cost allowancePrepayment uplift allowanceEBIT**Headroom allowance VAT
2017 summer350248121163642749
2017/18 winter342249109165652648
2018 summer367249131168662850
2018/19 winter409249130169673053
2019 summer479262139171673358
2019/20 winter*43226414618368211256
2020 summer*39526516018768211255

More information

At-a-glance summary

  • We update the level of the prepayment price cap on 1 April and 1 October each year. The update on 1 October 2019 will decrease the set level by £25 from its previous level at 1 April 2019.
  • In July 2019, the CMA revised the methodology [45] to better reflect the costs incurred in delivering energy services to prepayment customers. From 1 October 2019, the prepayment meter price cap methodology aligns more closely with our methodology for the default tariff price cap.
  • The tariff level will reflect changes in the costs of supplying energy. We determine how much each independent component of the cap should change by looking at external cost data. Details of the latest update can be found here - Prepayment meter tariff cap: 1st April 2020 to 30th September 2020 [46].

Relevance and further information

This chart summarises the different costs that make up the prepayment meter price cap applying to customers with prepayment meters (excluding those with fully interoperable smart meters). 

The Competition and Markets Authority introduced the price protection of a price cap to prepayment meter customers, who can’t easily access the cheapest tariffs, in April 2017. These customers are often in vulnerable circumstances. They designed the tariff based on a broad estimate of how much it costs an efficient supplier to provide gas and/or electricity to certain groups of customers. 

As the energy regulator, Ofgem administers and calculates the level for the cap.

We update the level of the tariff every six months, either reflecting changes in underlying costs, or increases in inflation.

Methodology

  • The level of the cap is based on calculations of wholesale costs, network costs, policy costs, operating costs and costs specifically associated with prepayment meters. It also includes a degree of ‘headroom’, which is designed to allow suppliers to offer competitive deals underneath the level we set for the prepayment price cap.
  • We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical domestic consumer’ with ‘medium’ energy use. Since April 2020, typical consumption values for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 2,900kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). Find out more at Typical domestic consumption values [47].
  • All prices shown are for a dual fuel customer (i.e. where a customer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier). 
  • In July 2019, the CMA revised the methodology [45] used to calculate the cap to better reflect the costs incurred in delivering energy services to prepayment customers. From 1 October 2019, the prepayment meter price cap methodology aligns more closely with Ofgem’s methodology for the default tariff price cap.
  • Further details of the methodology for calculating the level of the prepayment price cap can be found in the CMA Order [48] and Explanatory Note [49] and the update published in July 2019.
  • For a detailed breakdown of the cap by meter type and region, please see our page for the latest level for 1st April 2020 to 30th September 2020 [46].
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Breakdown of the default tariff price cap (GBP £) [50].

Source: Ofgem.

Information correct as of: April 2020

This chart shows a breakdown of the costs that make up the default tariff price cap for a dual-fuel, direct debit customer with typical consumption. It helps to explain the relationship between the level of the cap we set, and the different cost factors that influence it each time we update it.

The default tariff cap is effective from 1 January 2019. It has different levels set to reflect how you pay, where you live and the type of energy meter you have. For a detailed breakdown of the set cap prices by payment method, meter type and region, please see our industry page. Customers should contact their supplier for details specific to their tariff.

The default tariff price cap limits how much a supplier can charge customers on default tariffs, including standard variable tariffs, per unit of energy. It doesn’t cap the total cost of a bill. That’s because the amount customers pay also depends on how much gas or electricity they’ve used. Suppliers can charge less than the set level of the cap, but not more.

We update this chart to reflect the levels of the cap that come into effect in April and October.

As of April 2020, all the costs shown in this chart are calculated using the latest Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV) that entered into effect from 1st April 2020 (see more methodology section for more details).

In practical terms, this means that previous publications on the level and costs of the cap will not be exactly the same.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for a summary of the latest trends, details of how to interpret the component costs and allowances, and for information on our methodology.

Policy Areas:

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

Data Table

Breakdown of the default tariff price cap (GBP £)
Wholesale costsNetwork costsPolicy costsOperating costsEarnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT)VATPayment method uplift allowanceHeadroom allowance
2018/19 winter43425013019520531112
2019 summer50526214420122581213
2019/20 winter43226414620320541212
2020 summer39526516020920541212

More information

At-a-glance summary

  • The level of the tariff cap is based on the underlying costs required to supply energy. It applies from 1 January 2019.
  • We publish the level of the price cap in February and August to apply on 1 April and 1 October respectively each year.
  • The tariff level will reflect changes in the costs to supply energy. We determine how much each independent component of the cap should change by looking at external cost data. Details of the latest update can be found here - Default tariff cap: 1st April 2020 to 30th September 2020 [52].

Relevance and further information

This chart summarises the different costs that make up the default tariff price cap.

We update the level of the cap every six months, either reflecting changes in underlying costs, or increases in inflation. Our calculations cover:

  • wholesale energy costs: how much a supplier has to pay to get the gas and electricity to supply households with energy (we base this on forward prices for energy to be delivered over a 12-month period)
  • network costs: the regional costs of building, maintaining and operating the pipes and wires that carry energy across the country to households
  • policy costs: the costs related to government social and environmental schemes to save energy, reduce emissions and encourage take-up of renewable energy
  • operating costs: the costs incurred by suppliers to deliver billing and metering services, including smart metering
  • payment method uplift allowance: the additional costs incurred by suppliers to bill customers with different payment methods
  • headroom allowance: this allows suppliers to manage uncertainty in their costs, and also offer competitive deals beneath the set level of the cap.
  • Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT): a fair rate of return allowed for suppliers, to ensure they can finance their businesses.
  • VAT: 5% tax added to the level of the tariff.

Methodology

  • The level of the cap is based on calculations of the costs required for an efficient supplier to provide energy. It also includes some additional allowances to manage uncertainty, and ensure suppliers can finance their activities, amongst other things.
  • We calculate the bill values associated with the different tariff types using a ‘typical domestic consumer’ with ‘medium’ energy use. Since April 2020, typical consumption values for a medium consumer are 12,000kWh/year for gas and 2,900kWh/year for electricity (profile class 1). Find out more at Typical domestic consumption values [47].
  • All prices shown are for a dual fuel customer paying by direct debit (i.e. where a customer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier). 
  • Further details of the methodology for calculating the level of the Default Tariff can be found in our statutory consultation on the default tariff cap [53] and decision documents [53].
  • For a detailed breakdown of the cap by meter type and region, please see our page for the latest level for 1st April 2020 to 30th September 2020 [52].
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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Supplier Cost Index by fuel type (GB) [54].

Source: Ofgem analysis.

Information correct as of: May 2018

The Supplier Cost Index [56] tracks ongoing trends in wholesale costs, network costs and the charges to suppliers associated with government programmes.

This chart is no longer being updated.

At-a-glance summary

  • In the three months (between 1 February 2018 and 1 May 2018) the index increased by 5.3%, driven primarily by increases in wholesale gas and electricity costs. There was also a small increase in the costs of government obligations related to supplying electricity.
  • Overall, the Supplier Cost Index (dual fuel) increased by 14.1% between 1 May 2017 and 1 May 2018.
  • The 12 month increase was primarily driven by increases in wholesale gas and electricity costs.
  • The index starts in January 2015. Costs fell during 2015 and early 2016, with much larger reductions for gas than electricity. By the 1 May 2018, the dual fuel index is 9.7% above its level at the start of 2015. The electricity index is 19.7% higher, while the gas index is 0.1% higher.

Click the ‘more information’ tab above for a description of how the index is calculated and which costs are included.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Supplier Cost Index by fuel type (GB)
Expected supply costs for the next 12 months (Jan-15 = 100)Dual FuelElectricityGas
Jan-15100.0100.0100.0
Feb-1592.9995.3790.72
Mar-1596.7997.9895.66
Apr-1595.3096.4294.24
May-1594.9696.5893.42
Jun-1594.0096.3291.79
Jul-1593.6596.4990.94
Aug-1592.8496.3689.48
Sep-1590.7095.4586.18
Oct-1590.5195.9185.35
Nov-1589.1095.2483.24
Dec-1586.7494.6079.26
Jan-1685.1494.0876.61
Feb-1681.8091.7972.29
Mar-1681.4792.1071.35
Apr-1682.3893.5271.76
May-1683.2694.2572.79
Jun-1685.8896.4275.84
Jul-1691.18100.8581.97
Aug-1695.48104.6186.78
Sep-1693.09103.4283.24
Oct-1692.66104.3281.56
Nov-16104.35118.8690.51
Dec-16105.01118.9991.68
Jan-1798.77108.5089.49
Feb-17102.23109.9894.85
Mar-17100.41108.0393.14
Apr-1796.68105.4388.35
May-1796.06105.0787.48
Jun-1795.61105.0586.61
Jul-1796.18106.6486.22
Aug-1796.52107.6785.89
Sep-1799.70110.6789.25
Oct-17101.64112.1291.66
Nov-17103.12112.9593.76
Dec-17105.71114.4797.37
Jan-18106.70114.6699.12
Feb-18104.13113.5495.15
Mar-18102.91112.9393.36
Apr-18105.90116.0096.28
May-18109.65119.70100.07

More information

Methodology

  • We calculate the Supplier Cost Index by estimating trends in network charges, wholesale prices and the charges to suppliers associated with government programmes (note that in some cases, these government charges only apply to large and medium-sized suppliers).
  • These estimates are then combined with information on the relative scale of each of these categories of cost to calculate the trend in the overall Supplier Cost Index. The weights given to each category of costs are based on financial statements from the six large suppliers, and are as follows:

- wholesale electricity: 26.7%

- wholesale gas: 35.9%

- networks electricity: 15.4%

- networks gas: 14.4%

- government obligations electricity: 6.7%

- government obligations gas: 1.0%.

 

  • The index reflects estimated expected annual costs, covering the 12 months from the time of each update, based on the best information available at the time. So, for example, the value of the index for May 2018 will reflect estimated costs for the period 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019, expressed relative to estimated expected annual costs as of the base period (1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015).
  • The estimates in the index are forward-looking, they therefore rely on forecasts and assumptions, and so will be subject to uncertainty. Information on suppliers’ realised costs is available in the financial statements published by the six large energy suppliers. See Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers [57].
  • The index does not include estimates of suppliers' ‘back-office’ operating costs (such as the costs of billing or metering – including the costs of the smart meter rollout) or their profit margins, which suppliers will seek to cover when setting their prices.
  • The index is based on trends in the average prices of wholesale gas and electricity forward contracts in the month prior to the update. Suppliers will take different approaches to purchasing their wholesale energy, and many will buy their energy over an extended period. The index does not seek to estimate any impact this may have on a supplier’s costs.
  • Other elements of costs are also likely to vary across individual suppliers. For example, suppliers may have some flexibility in how they meet their obligations under government programmes. This could mean, for example, that suppliers see different year-on-year changes in costs than indicated by the index where they have chosen to meet their obligations under the ECO scheme at the start of the delivery period (the forecasts used in the index are based on a flat delivery profile). Network charges will also vary between suppliers depending on things like the regional profile of their customer base. 
  • The index is calculated for a customer with typical consumption. We have held consumption fixed over time to increase comparability with trends in suppliers’ prices (which are also typically expressed for a given level of consumption). In practice, energy use will vary from one year to the next, depending on temperatures. Energy use is also subject to long-run trends, for example as a result of increasing energy efficiency. Trends in consumption will also have a significant impact on the size of customers’ bills.
  • Capacity market payments were included in the index from winter 2017, we have categorised these as wholesale electricity costs. We consider that this allocation best reflects the nature of these costs. We intend to keep under review what further detail might be provided on the costs associated with different government programmes. 
  • Since the August 2017 update, we have included the additional costs associated with the expected exemption of Energy Intensive Industries from the costs of the Renewable Obligation scheme, following the Government’s announcement in December 2017. The Government’s decision on implementing the same exemption for the Feed-in Tariff scheme has yet to be published, and so the possible impact of a similar change to the way this programme is funded is not currently included.

Further details of how we calculate the index are provided in our methodology document. [58]

 

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Breakdown of the year-on-year change in the Supplier Cost Index [21].

Source: Ofgem analysis.

Information correct as of: May 2018

This chart shows the contribution of trends in different cost categories to the overall year-on-year change in the Supplier Cost Index.

This chart is no longer being updated.

At-a-glance summary

Between May 2017 and May 2018, the Supplier Cost Index increased by 14.1%.

  • The increase was primarily driven by increases in the wholesale costs of both gas and electricity accounting for 12 percentage points of the 14.1% increase in the index. Wholesale gas prices have increased slightly more than wholesale electricity prices.
  • The costs of government obligations related to supplying electricity (particularly programmes associated with supporting renewable and low-carbon electricity generation). These costs increased the dual fuel index by 1.9 percentage points.
  • The costs of government obligations related to supplying gas have remained largely unchanged.
  • There were in addition, smaller increases in network charges related to supplying gas, which are very nearly offset by a reduction in network costs related to supplying electricity.

We update this chart on a quarterly basis. Click the ‘more information’ tab above for details of how to interpret the figures in the chart and for information on how the index has been calculated.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Breakdown of the year-on-year change in the Supplier Cost Index
Impact on Cost Index (May 2018 vs. May 2017)
Wholesale (electricity)5.8
Wholesale (gas)6.2
Network (electricity)-0.3
Network (gas)0.5
Government obligations (electricity)1.9
Government obligations (gas)0.0

More information

How to interpret the year-on-year change in the Supplier Cost Index

The breakdown is calculated by combining the percentage change in each category of expected costs, with an estimate of the importance of that cost to suppliers' total costs. Adding the bars together gives the overall change in the index.

Note, therefore, that the percentages shown are not the same as the percentage change in the individual categories of costs. For example, if the chart shows a one percentage point contribution for wholesale gas this does not mean that wholesale gas costs have risen by 1%, rather that there has been an increase in wholesale gas costs which has caused the overall cost index to rise by 1%. As wholesale gas costs make up only one part of suppliers' overall costs, the percentage increase in these costs would have been significantly higher to result in a 1% increase in the overall cost index.

It is important to bear in mind that the contributions shown relate only to the direct charges to suppliers associated with the different types of costs, and do not take into account the relationships between the categories.

For instance, trends in network charges to electricity generators are not included in the ‘network charges’ component of the breakdown, as they are not paid directly by suppliers – and will instead affect wholesale electricity prices. To give another example, a reduction in wholesale prices (and so the wholesale cost component of the index) will be associated with an increase in supplier payments to fund Contracts for Difference, which support low carbon electricity generation.

For this reason, the contribution of different types of costs to the index cannot be interpreted as showing the totality of the impact of government policies or network charges on consumers’ bills.

Methodology

  • We calculate the Supplier Cost Index by estimating trends in network charges, wholesale prices and the charges to suppliers associated with government programmes (note that in some cases, these government charges only apply to large and medium-sized suppliers).
  • These estimates are then combined with information on the relative scale of each of these categories of cost to calculate the trend in the overall Supplier Cost Index. The weights given to each category of costs are based on financial statements from the six large suppliers, and are as follows:

- wholesale electricity: 26.7%

- wholesale gas: 35.9%

- networks electricity: 15.4%

- networks gas: 14.4%

- government obligations electricity: 6.7%

- government obligations gas: 1.0%.

 

  • The index reflects estimated expected annual costs, covering the 12 months from the time of each update, based on the best information available at the time. So, for example, the value of the index for May 2018 will reflect estimated costs for the period 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019, expressed relative to estimated expected annual costs as of the base period (1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015).
  • The estimates in the index are forward-looking, they therefore rely on forecasts and assumptions, and so will be subject to uncertainty. Information on suppliers’ realised costs is available in the financial statements published by the six large energy suppliers. See Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers [57].
  • The index does not include estimates of suppliers' ‘back-office’ operating costs (such as the costs of billing or metering – including the costs of the smart meter rollout) or their profit margins, which suppliers will seek to cover when setting their prices.
  • The index is based on trends in the average prices of wholesale gas and electricity forward contracts in the month prior to the update. Suppliers will take different approaches to purchasing their wholesale energy, and many will buy their energy over an extended period. The index does not seek to estimate any impact this may have on a supplier’s costs.
  • Other elements of costs are also likely to vary across individual suppliers. For example, suppliers may have some flexibility in how they meet their obligations under government programmes. This could mean, for example, that suppliers see different year-on-year changes in costs than indicated by the index where they have chosen to meet their obligations under the ECO scheme at the start of the delivery period (the forecasts used in the index are based on a flat delivery profile). Network charges will also vary between suppliers depending on things like the regional profile of their customer base. 
  • The index is calculated for a customer with typical consumption. We have held consumption fixed over time to increase comparability with trends in suppliers’ prices (which are also typically expressed for a given level of consumption). In practice, energy use will vary from one year to the next, depending on temperatures. Energy use is also subject to long-run trends, for example as a result of increasing energy efficiency. Trends in consumption will also have a significant impact on the size of customers’ bills.
  • Capacity market payments were included in the index from winter 2017, we have categorised these as wholesale electricity costs. We consider that this allocation best reflects the nature of these costs. We intend to keep under review what further detail might be provided on the costs associated with different government programmes. 
  • Since the August 2017 update, we have included the additional costs associated with the expected exemption of Energy Intensive Industries from the costs of the Renewable Obligation scheme, following the Government’s announcement in December 2017. The Government’s decision on implementing the same exemption for the Feed-in Tariff scheme has yet to be published, and so the possible impact of a similar change to the way this programme is funded is not currently included.

Further details of how we calculate the index are provided in our methodology document. [58]

Further information

This chart is part of our quarterly update to the Supplier Cost Index. For further details, see Understanding the profits of the large energy suppliers. [60]

 

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Switching

We look at trends in external switching (between suppliers) and internal switching (with the same supplier) to understand levels of consumer engagement. We also look at average switching times, an indicator of process quality.

Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Number of domestic customers switching supplier by fuel type (GB) [61].

Source: Ofgem analysis of data from electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) and Xoserve.

Information correct as of: September 2020

This chart shows the total number of domestic customers switching gas and electricity supplier each month. It also shows, in dotted lines, the number of switches going to medium/small suppliers, as well as the net gains made by these suppliers (from November 2016).

As of September 2020, we had to correct the monthly switching figures previously published for the first half of 2020 due to data processing issues. As a result, between January and June 2020, corrected electricity switches amounted to 2.78 million, instead of  2.71 million as previously published. For gas the corrected figure was 2.13 million instead of 2.34 million. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Number of domestic customers switching supplier by fuel type (GB)
MonthTotal electricity switchesTotal gas switchesSwitches to electricity other suppliersSwitches to gas other suppliersNet gains for electricity other suppliersNet gains for gas other suppliers
01/01/2003326,000266,000
01/02/2003337,000167,000
01/03/2003368,000239,000
01/04/2003351,000216,000
01/05/2003327,000245,000
01/06/2003344,000252,000
01/07/2003365,000260,000
01/08/2003318,000253,000
01/09/2003382,000296,000
01/10/2003370,000290,000
01/11/2003344,000280,000
01/12/2003371,000294,000
01/01/2004273,000303,000
01/02/2004341,000256,000
01/03/2004412,000334,000
01/04/2004341,000283,000
01/05/2004310,000266,000
01/06/2004356,000297,000
01/07/2004323,000275,000
01/08/2004331,000261,000
01/09/2004367,000276,000
01/10/2004406,000338,000
01/11/2004398,000370,000
01/12/2004340,000330,000
01/01/2005243,000281,000
01/02/2005359,000181,000
01/03/2005390,000302,000
01/04/2005384,000341,000
01/05/2005369,000304,000
01/06/2005365,000317,000
01/07/2005330,000271,000
01/08/2005375,000286,000
01/09/2005348,000298,000
01/10/2005416,000301,000
01/11/2005465,000329,000
01/12/2005361,000300,000
01/01/2006284,000290,000
01/02/2006347,000208,000
01/03/2006539,000366,000
01/04/2006418,000345,000
01/05/2006396,000372,000
01/06/2006364,000350,000
01/07/2006360,000295,000
01/08/2006428,000315,000
01/09/2006402,000358,000
01/10/2006429,000356,000
01/11/2006482,000374,000
01/12/2006392,000288,000
01/01/2007352,000346,000
01/02/2007390,000265,000
01/03/2007441,000333,000
01/04/2007392,000301,000
01/05/2007452,000334,000
01/06/2007426,000378,000
01/07/2007441,000352,000
01/08/2007501,000336,000
01/09/2007397,000289,000
01/10/2007477,000383,000
01/11/2007477,000343,000
01/12/2007411,000322,000
01/01/2008335,000344,000
01/02/2008441,000278,000
01/03/2008476,000313,000
01/04/2008438,000388,000
01/05/2008440,000335,000
01/06/2008459,000347,000
01/07/2008474,000361,000
01/08/2008553,000348,000
01/09/2008466,000427,000
01/10/2008478,000347,000
01/11/2008428,000336,000
01/12/2008439,000332,000
01/01/2009290,000331,000
01/02/2009364,000255,000
01/03/2009475,000311,000
01/04/2009423,000298,000
01/05/2009397,000324,000
01/06/2009434,000332,000
01/07/2009442,000327,000
01/08/2009388,000304,000
01/09/2009480,000343,000
01/10/2009455,000336,000
01/11/2009441,000330,000
01/12/2009438,000332,000
01/01/2010259,000307,0006,622
01/02/2010353,000217,0008,884
01/03/2010460,000316,0007,735
01/04/2010379,000307,0009,193
01/05/2010352,000271,0007,564
01/06/2010413,000289,0002,986
01/07/2010398,000292,0003,007
01/08/2010419,000296,0003,928
01/09/2010426,000305,0006,836
01/10/2010409,000305,0004,253
01/11/2010456,000322,00010,827
01/12/2010425,000328,00011,251
01/01/2011270,000279,0003,280
01/02/2011324,000211,0006,340
01/03/2011400,000307,0006,597
01/04/2011360,000246,0004,273
01/05/2011356,000308,0007,479
01/06/2011393,000259,0008,895
01/07/2011397,000301,0008,868
01/08/2011449,000343,00016,021
01/09/2011343,000309,00013,281
01/10/2011326,000247,00019,478
01/11/2011329,000240,00019,854
01/12/2011259,000219,00012,620
01/01/2012210,000194,00022,337
01/02/2012257,000149,00029,128
01/03/2012279,000190,00020,817
01/04/2012232,000176,00012,872
01/05/2012286,000202,00019,167
01/06/2012272,000192,00041,228
01/07/2012257,000190,00018,762
01/08/2012265,000187,00013,366
01/09/2012312,000195,00022,561
01/10/2012366,000273,00072,968
01/11/2012338,000174,00066,652
01/12/2012266,000159,00050,393
01/01/2013228,000157,92943,231
01/02/2013247,000117,96449,082
01/03/2013247,000144,21329,156
01/04/2013251,000186,69029,311
01/05/2013234,000155,03124,985
01/06/2013218,000148,45335,281
01/07/2013232,000160,79331,292
01/08/2013210,000140,74932,638
01/09/2013254,000145,41427,969
01/10/2013381,186213,58971,447
01/11/2013606,061358,799138,394
01/12/2013309,978260,32593,626
01/01/2014214,944188,87093,57973,618
01/02/2014253,295169,946106,70877,109
01/03/2014269,497195,773134,80292,080
01/04/2014252,047201,512133,319104,617
01/05/2014228,628179,604124,802100,417
01/06/2014201,381163,56898,58687,363
01/07/2014219,026145,714104,62573,414
01/08/2014223,581150,623113,96076,153
01/09/2014283,877180,965138,186102,117
01/10/2014309,890232,178118,527108,942
01/11/2014270,603216,783108,79388,088
01/12/2014311,298250,638103,86781,917
01/01/2015190,554155,78973,97758,597
01/02/2015291,341230,518102,44590,566
01/03/2015382,809304,679135,965103,196
01/04/2015272,996214,556108,97679,892
01/05/2015239,574197,166108,49988,984
01/06/2015229,825174,688105,81483,896
01/07/2015239,343192,299108,28786,631
01/08/2015253,099195,183116,63393,783
01/09/2015279,411223,703128,043100,534
01/10/2015349,278274,581161,602121,335
01/11/2015343,870274,206161,034131,736
01/12/2015310,293242,630148,668117,677
01/01/2016245,922189,143139,539109,708
01/02/2016390,645305,057176,036143,238
01/03/2016453,964361,399244,232196,273
01/04/2016386,456273,751204,748151,645
01/05/2016345,146261,324169,711127,352
01/06/2016335,879252,712143,231104,67464,39143,204
01/07/2016303,404221,175140,898103,66270,82950,962
01/08/2016310,132209,178149,026108,99774,44557,084
01/09/2016349,203271,374154,142116,03268,91647,780
01/10/2016486,878384,023150,747118,32820,32816,409
01/11/2016386,585297,468147,607116,24536,64423,680
01/12/2016423,068317,740230,753176,05191,05368,890
01/01/2017319,503239,759203630158,23097,49678,267
01/02/2017398,150296,055220,784173,226107,16787,624
01/03/2017512,855388,103280,224223,528142,155113,040
01/04/2017449,463327,288274,019212,426143,767114,270
01/05/2017414,285304,615251,465193,355124,32799,986
01/06/2017379345315,542198,431166,62787,24076,388
01/07/2017350,660306,437177,209158,63972,36067,784
01/08/2017414,308348,605221,136191,41997,84796,690
01/09/2017520,678454,861276,304242,592155,301140,919
01/10/2017534,746460,559310,969273,286180,672165,424
01/11/2017440,757375,183222,992191,178108,57397,449
01/12/2017385,060325,882298,250196,213111,63099,215
01/01/2018321,560253,513192,655163,57289,56575,444
01/02/2018425,147347,711277,930227,017123,955102,203
01/03/2018443,326374,228221,536213,96298,95985,549
01/04/2018446,530371,819266,409216,622107,63982,419
01/05/2018464,753399,163320,163272,863164,128142,678
01/06/2018455,194388,672348,591298,865218,509188,196
01/07/2018442,406364,991299,457248,923177,140150,162
01/08/2018466,898394,160279,178205,354148,566128,367
01/09/2018525,216433,386329,664266,263163,805140,687
01/10/2018558,583469,695345,347286,553143,789121,562
01/11/2018462,137381,638242,454194,51477,58463,699
01/12/2018390,540338,140254,810206,693107,87577,370
01/01/2019360,286291,442241,517194,79699,07384,169
01/02/2019436,164350,030289,566227,009115,31592,269
01/03/2019585,775486,248403,017330,297191,480164,297
01/04/2019638,176521,932435,937349,720243,455197,349
01/05/2019470,219381,018300,779238,309134,526109,219
01/06/2019422,945336,312243,448186,08879,29165,621
01/07/2019488,217401,663290,920213,83889,54072,169
01/08/2019498,301390,926300,292222,541122,21499,744
01/09/2019545,937435,740319,933241,898109,71194,082
01/10/2019526,805430,526308,892238,34497,33682,902
01/11/2019474,812377,639240,008181,49557,96947,662
01/12/2019498,615418,379266,206213,36568,79749,998
01/01/2020440,564329,442235,671 173,223 80,987 71,616
01/02/2020443,817 390,406 252,899 212,345 94,945 78,810
01/03/2020 569,198 422,059 315,749 226,420 107,844 94,554
01/04/2020 444,080 318,991 251,490 164,210 106,292 66,280
01/05/2020 425,257 321,421 257,135 179,081 107,597 86,770
01/06/2020 461,611 342,908 306,413 217,199 149,530 121,248
01/07/2020 537,480 389,096 377,459 264,465 198,836 157,818

More information

At-a-glance summary

Switching has been on the rise since 2014.

The number of domestic gas and electricity switches used to follow a seasonal pattern (with peaks around March and November then dipping in January and the summer months). Then a break in that usual seasonal switching pattern occured with the number of switches staying at a relatively constant level for each month since February 2018 instead of falling in the summer months. The drop in April and May 2020 coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak.

In July 2020, the number of switches grew by 15% compared to June 2020. In electricity it rose from 461,611 to 537,480  and in gas it rose from 342,908 to 389,096. Compared to July 2019, switches were up 10% in electricity, and down 3% in gas.

For the 12 months up to July 2020, there were 5.9 million switches in electricity, and 4.8 million in gas. This is up 1% for electricity, and down 5% for gas, compared to the 12 months up to July 2019.

In July 2020, the proportion of net gains in switching away from the six largest suppliers made up 38% of total switches for gas and electricity combined, up from 18% in July 2019.

Following companies’ mergers, from January 2020, external switching numbers do not include any customer movements between E.ON and npower and SSE and OVO respectively. In particular, the transfers between SSE and OVO are no longer shown as part of the number of switches going to medium/small suppliers or the net gains made by these suppliers.  

Relevance and further information

External switching, from one supplier to another, is one measure of consumer engagement with the market. The number of switches to small and medium sized suppliers show how these suppliers are attracting customers over time. For summary information on the switching figures for the year please see also the facts and figures [63].

Methodology

The number of customers switching supplier shown in the graph is based on the number of meter points a supplier gains from another following a customer choice to change their supplier.

The net gains for small and medium suppliers is calculated by subtracting from the gross meter point gains these suppliers achieve over the month the gross number of meter points these suppliers lose over the same period.

As of July 2017, supply points connected to independent gas transporters are included in the gas data provided by Xoserve.

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Chart

Source: Six largest suppliers.

Information correct as of: April 2020

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

Due to the current lack of available data on internal switching, we have paused the publication of this indicator. We intend to resume it as soon as possible and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Large suppliers: Internal and external switching rate by fuel type (GB)
Electricity total internal switching rateGas total internal switching rateElectricity total external switching rateGas total external switching rateElectricity internal switching rate by tariffGas internal switching rate by tariff
Nov-145.03%5.70%0.89%1.03%2.34%2.77%
Dec-144.21%4.75%1.13%1.19%1.86%2.14%
Jan-154.78%5.61%0.69%0.74%2.91%3.54%
Feb-155.22%5.96%0.94%1.10%2.89%3.34%
Mar-155.26%5.94%1.38%1.45%3.40%3.93%
Apr-155.41%6.21%0.99%1.02%2.70%3.15%
May-153.84%4.26%0.97%0.94%1.69%1.89%
Jun-153.14%3.38%0.83%0.83%1.61%1.75%
Jul-153.34%3.64%0.86%0.91%1.82%2.01%
Aug-153.95%4.29%0.91%0.93%1.76%1.89%
Sep-153.50%3.80%1.01%1.06%1.98%2.19%
Oct-153.78%4.15%1.26%1.31%2.02%2.24%
Nov-153.92%4.25%1.24%1.30%2.10%2.31%
Dec-153.31%3.55%1.11%1.15%1.67%1.76%
Jan-164.78%5.39%0.88%0.90%3.00%3.46%
Feb-165.00%5.54%1.40%1.45%3.15%3.53%
Mar-164.88%5.40%1.63%1.72%2.72%3.08%
Apr-164.40%4.80%1.38%1.30%2.28%2.56%
May-163.82%4.23%1.24%1.24%2.12%2.37%
Jun-164.43%4.82%1.20%1.20%2.28%2.48%
Jul-164.26%4.59%1.09%1.05%1.95%2.07%
Aug-162.82%2.98%1.11%0.99%1.55%1.65%
Sep-163.90%6.26%1.25%1.29%1.99%2.09%
Oct-165.10%5.48%1.74%1.82%2.12%2.23%
Nov-164.45%4.85%1.38%1.41%2.05%2.25%
Dec-163.14%3.41%1.51%1.51%1.33%1.47%
Jan-174.33%4.81%1.14%1.14%2.18%2.46%
Feb-175.46%6.02%1.42%1.40%2.93%3.28%
Mar-174.70%5.08%1.83%1.84%2.60%2.84%
Apr-174.42%4.87%1.60%1.55%2.59%2.86%
May-174.16%4.51%1.47%1.45%1.97%2.07%
Jun-173.75%4.09%1.35%1.37%1.81%2.02%
Jul-173.60%3.89%1.25%1.33%1.91%2.11%
Aug-174.07%4.28%1.47%1.51%1.67%1.86%
Sep-173.92%4.02%1.85%1.96%1.68%1.89%
Oct-174.06%4.40%1.89%1.99%1.87%2.11%
Nov-173.94%4.27%1.56%1.62%2.01%2.22%
Dec-174.09%4.44%1.36%1.40%1.52%1.65%
Jan-183.84%4.15%1.14%1.09%1.95%2.12%
Feb-185.53%5.77%1.50%1.50%3.69%3.84%
Mar-184.65%4.99%1.57%1.61%2.63%2.87%
Apr-186.26%6.65%1.58%1.60%2.90%3.03%
May-185.40%5.91%1.64%1.72%1.86%2.06%
Jun-185.71%6.01%1.61%1.67%3.18%3.34%
Jul-185.22%5.75%1.56%1.57%2.31%2.46%
Aug-185.34%5.70%1.65%1.69%3.14%3.29%
Sep-186.80%7.51%1.85%1.86%2.57%2.80%
Oct-184.51%4.92%1.97%2.01%2.57%2.80%
Nov-184.03%4.32%1.63%1.63%2.08%2.23%
Dec-183.21%3.33%1.37%1.45%1.62%1.62%
Jan-194.09%4.42%1.27%1.25%1.68%1.80%
Feb-194.63%4.97%1.53%1.49%2.20%2.33%
Mar-195.68%6.05%2.06%2.07%3.17%3.31%
Apr-194.73%4.96%2.24%2.22%2.72%2.80%
May-194.87%5.21%1.65%1.62%2.18%2.26%
Jun-194.24%4.48%1.48%1.43%2.25%2.33%
Jul-193.24%3.71%1.71%1.70%2.93%3.12%
Aug-192.99%3.24%1.74%1.66%2.57%2.62%
Sep-193.06%3.34%1.91%1.85%2.60%2.64%
Oct-192.65%2.77%1.84%1.82%2.35%2.37%
Nov-192.88%3.08%1.66%1.60%2.55%2.66%
Dec-192.15%2.36%1.74%1.77%1.98%2.07%

More information

At-a-glance summary

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

There was a break in the usual seasonal fall in both internal and external switching rates in Q2 2018. There was a large increase in the internal switching rate for both electricity and gas. In Q4 2018 the internal and external switching rates fell to levels below the corresponding rates in the previous year. In Q1 2019, both internal and external switching rates increased again and reached higher values than in Q1 2018. In Q2 2019, the internal switching rates were lower than those in Q2 2018, but remained above the level of external switching rates. In Q4 2019, the average internal switching rates over the quarter were lower compared to those in Q4 2018, but consistently remained above the level of 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.

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Chart

Javascript is required to render chart Average switching time for domestic customers (GB) [64].

Source: Ofgem analysis of electricity distribution network operator (DNO) and Xoserve (gas) data.

Information correct as of: January 2020

This chart shows a month-on-month view of the average time it takes for a domestic customer to switch supplier.

Policy Areas:

  • Electricity - retail markets
  • Gas - retail markets

Data Table

Average switching time for domestic customers (GB)
MonthAverage electricity switching timeAverage gas switching time
01/01/201424
01/02/201423
01/03/20141822
01/04/20141823
01/05/20141823
01/06/20141824
01/07/20141722
01/08/20141822
01/09/20141822
01/10/20141822
01/11/20141821
01/12/20141620
01/01/20151620
01/02/20151516
01/03/20151615
01/04/20151616
01/05/20151516
01/06/20151616
01/07/20151616
01/08/20151616
01/09/20151618
01/10/20151517
01/11/20151517
01/12/20151618
01/01/20161618
01/02/20161618
01/03/20161617
01/04/20161617
01/05/20161617
01/06/20161617
01/07/20161617
01/08/20161617
01/09/20161616
01/10/20161516
01/11/20161616
01/12/20161517
01/01/20171617
01/02/20171516
01/03/20171616
01/04/20171617
01/05/20171517
01/06/20171515
01/07/20171619
01/08/20171518
01/09/20171618
01/10/20171517
01/11/20171517
01/12/20171617
01/01/20181718
01/02/20181318
01/03/20181817
01/04/20181518
01/05/20181518
01/06/20181718
01/07/20181718
01/08/20181718
01/09/20181618
01/10/20181618
01/11/20181617
01/12/20181618
01/01/20191718
01/02/20191617
01/03/20191618
01/04/20191618
01/05/20191617
01/06/20191618
01/07/20191618
01/08/20191618
01/09/20191618

More information

At-a-glance summary

Between January 2014 and September 2019, the average switching time for gas fell by 6 days to 18 days. The average switching time for electricity has been relatively steady since the end of 2014 between 15 and 17 days. The average switching time for gas has been steady since the beginning of 2015, between 16 and 18 days.

Relevance and further information

The average switching time is a useful indicator of how long a switch takes to complete. This affects a customer’s incentive and ability to take advantage of the best offers available in the market.

Methodology

Supply licences require licensees to take all reasonable steps to complete a transfer 21 days after the end of the 14 day cooling-off period (or after an earlier date during the cooling-off if agreed with the customer).

Switching time is measured here by the number of calendar days it takes from when a supplier submits a switching request to the transfer taking place. We source our data from distribution network operators, so our analysis does not reflect the time taken by the supplier to submit a switching request, which may happen at the end or during the cooling-off period, nor the additional time to process the contract with the customer.

As of July 2017, supply points connected to independent gas transporters are included in the gas data provided by Xoserve.

close [64]

Methodology and sources

We have selected this range of indicators to support general understanding of the market, including how they contribute to the key priorities outlined in our strategic narrative [68]. We also aim 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 responses to 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. 

Most of these indicators will be updated quarterly while still allowing access to historic information. Updates will depend on the availability of data for an indicator. 

We will review the indicators periodically to ensure they continue to help promote transparency and understanding of the retail energy market and as additional sources of information become available.

Related publications

State of the energy markets 2019 [69]

State of the energy markets 2018 [70]

State of the energy markets 2017 [71]

Retail energy markets in 2016 [72]

Retail energy markets in 2015 [73]

State of the market assessment 2014 [74]

These market indicators and data are not intended for use or to be relied on for any commercial purposes. View copyright and disclaimer [75]