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August 28, 2012

Energy Standing Charges: Good or Bad?

As recession continues to plague homeowners throughout the UK, many experts have turned their attention towards ways in which energy bills can be reduced - in particular, whether or not a customer benefits from taking on a tariff with or without a standing charge.

In essence, a standing charge is a flat rate charge for the gas and electricity that can be supplied to one's home. E.ON and npower do not offer tariffs with standing charges; however, other energy suppliers will inevitably charge varying standing charges on their tariffs - some substantially more than others - based upon one's regional location. Indeed, British Gas, EDF and SSE charge one flat rate standing charge for all regions of the UK; however, standing charges from Scottish Power could vary from region-to-region by over £30.


Electricity Yearly Standing Charges

Distribution AreaBritish GasEDF EnergyE.ON EnergynpowerScottish PowerSSE
10£64.09£53.65nana£97.89£60.00
11£64.09£53.65nana£98.86£60.00
12£64.09£53.65nana£114.13£60.00
13£64.09£53.65nana£120.63£60.00
14£64.09£53.65nana£105.04£60.00
15£64.09£53.65nana£118.36£60.00
16£64.09£53.65nana£100.41£60.00
17£64.09£53.65nana£98.00£60.00
18£64.09£53.65nana£91.35£60.00
19£64.09£53.65nana£90.59£60.00
20£64.09£53.65nana£111.21£60.00
21£64.09£53.65nana£113.88£60.00
22£64.09£53.65nana£120.15£60.00
23£64.09£53.65nana£113.36£60.00
Based on Monthly Direct Debit on the 'standard tariff' of the supplier


Standing charges for gas vary mildly depending upon one's supplier. British Gas charges £49.41 more for its gas standing charge, and EDF charges £30.66 more. On the other hand, SSE charges the same rates for gas supply as it does for electricity, and Scottish Power rates fluctuate dramatically - meaning that some regions will pay more for gas than electricity, and some will pay less.

Gas Yearly Standing Charges
Distribution AreaBritish GasEDF EnergyE.ON EnergynpowerScottish PowerSSE
10£113.50£84.31nana£118.88£60.00
11£113.50£84.31nana£118.88£60.00
12£113.50£84.31nana£118.69£60.00
13£113.50£84.31nana£118.36£60.00
14£113.50£84.31nana£117.27£60.00
15£113.50£84.31nana£117.27£60.00
16£113.50£84.31nana£117.60£60.00
17£113.50£84.31nana£117.27£60.00
18£113.50£84.31nana£116.07£60.00
19£113.50£84.31nana£117.60£60.00
20£113.50£84.31nana£118.33£60.00
21£113.50£84.31nana£118.33£60.00
22£113.50£84.31nana£117.27£60.00
23£113.50£84.31nana£115.96£60.00
Based on Monthly Direct Debit on the 'standard tariff' of the supplier


Standing charges have been scrutinized by some as unnecessary extras, and should therefore be avoided; however, many tariffs without a standing charge will still integrate this extra cost into the plan's unit rate - meaning that customers could be paying a slightly higher rate for their energy until such a time that the standing charge in which they were attempting to avoid has been met.

As a result, it will typically make little-to-no difference for most homeowners with regards to whether or not their energy tariffs include a standing charge, as both plans will generally result in an annual cost surrounding the same ballpark figure for most standard medium energy users.*

That being said, tariffs without standing charges can benefit homeowners whose properties are frequently vacant, as such plans tend to guarantee a steady energy supply into the property without charging the homeowner a rate for time and energy not otherwise spent at said property. Such examples could include holiday or weekend properties, or properties that are otherwise only partially occupied.

In order to find out more about standing charges - and which energy tariff may be the cheapest option for your home - try using our 100% free and impartial energy comparison tool.

*A standard medium user is defined as a household consuming 3,300kWhs of electricity and 16,500kWhs of gas per annum, paying by monthly direct debit.

Posted by energylinx at August 28, 2012 4:31 PM Technorati: