Understanding standing charges.
What is a standing charge?
A standing charge is added to most gas and electricity bills as a fixed daily amount that you have to pay, no matter how much energy you use. Your standing charge covers the cost of supplying your property with gas and electricity. Think of it as a line rental, but for your energy.
The standing charge is used to cover the costs of, among other things:
Using and maintaining the energy supply network that gets electricity and gas to your home.
Meter reading visits.
Government support schemes.
How do standing charges work?
You’ll see your standing charge listed on your energy bill as a 'daily unit rate', with different prices for electricity and gas.
It’s kept separate from the kWh unit rate to avoid vulnerable houses with high energy usage paying proportionately higher sums.
How much do I have to pay for the standing charge?
Your daily standing charge depends on your tariff, your energy supplier and where you live. You can see your current standing charge on your latest bill or in your online account.
If you’re on a variable tariff, for example Next Flex, then there is a cap on how much you can pay for your standing charge.
Do I need to pay a standing charge with a prepayment meter?
Yes, your energy supplier will take your standing charge as part of your top up. If you don’t top up for a while, for example not topping up your gas over summer, then you’ll need to pay all the standing charge you owe.
Why do standing charges increase?
There are a number of factors in the UK Energy Market that can cause the standing charges to increase, these include:
Cost of the failed suppliers.
Expansion of the Warm Home Discount scheme.
Network charging reforms.
You can read more about why the standing charges have increased on our blog.
Can I remove the standing charge?
If you’ve not used any energy for a while, then you may be eligible to have the standing charge removed from your bill. You can call us on 0808 501 5200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look into this for you. You’ll need to do this each time you need to remove the standing charge.
For longer term solutions, such as an empty property, we can remove your fuse and/or meter so that you no longer need to contact us. There will be a cost associated with this, and our Energy Specialists can help sort that for you.