Understanding standing charges.

What are they, why do you pay them and how much are they?

Sun reading newspaper.

What is a standing charge?

A standing charge is added to most gas and electricity bills by your supplier 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 can see how much you’re paying for 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 kilowatt hour (kWh) unit rate to avoid vulnerable houses with high energy usage paying proportionately higher sums.

When you sign up for an energy tariff the standing charge will be included as part of the quote and you’ll be able to see how much you’ll pay for your electricity and/or gas.

When do I pay for my standing charge?

The energy standing charge is a daily fee that you’ll incur every day your property has an energy connection. You’ll still be charged it even if you don’t use any electricity or gas.

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. This cap is all the energy price cap and is set by Ofgem to tell each supplier what the maximum is they can 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 electricity and gas standing charges to increase, these include:

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 hi@eonnext.com 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’re paying no standing charge permanently. There will be a cost associated with this, and our Energy Specialists can help sort that for you.

Can I get an energy tariff with zero standing charge?

Energy suppliers may offer a tariff with higher unit rates and zero standing charge. This may be useful if you have very low energy use.

We don’t currently offer a tariff with zero standing charge, so you’ll need to pay it for any meters you have with us.