Compare energy prices per kWh

There are a number of costs that go into making up your annual energy bill, but the price you pay for your actual gas and electricity can be broken down into two distinct parts – the standing charge and the unit rate.

  • Standing charge - this is a fixed amount that you are charged each day, regardless of how much gas or electricity you use.
  • Unit rate - this is the price you will pay per unit, measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, so it can fluctuate depending on how much energy you use.

A deal that offers cheap gas and electric prices will usually advertise a cheaper unit rate, but it's important to factor in the standing charge when calculating costs.

There's no price cap on business energy. Compare deals to find cheaper prices than your supplier's out of contract rates.

Although energy tariffs without standing charges are available, all contracts come with a unit price for gas and electricity, that’s either fixed or variable depending upon the type of deal you’re on.

Each energy supplier will set its own rate, but figures from the Energy Savings Trust show that standing charges for electricity are usually around 20p per day, although you may be charged between 5p and 60p per day. Gas is charged at an average rate of 24p per day, but can be anywhere between 10p and 80p per day.

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Both gas and electricity consumption is measured in kWh. The unit rate you pay will vary depending upon the energy price plan you’re on, and even the region you live in, but the average cost of electricity per kWh is 14.37p, and the average gas cost per kWh is 3.80p.

What is a kilowatt hour (kWh)?

A kilowatt hour (kWh) is a measure of energy that equates to 1,000 watts – or 1 kilowatt (kW) of energy being used for one hour. The performance of every electrical household appliance is measured in watts, and you can find the wattage of any item on its packaging or label.

What are the average UK electricity prices per kWh 2020?

The average unit rate for electricity in the UK is 14.40p per kWh. Here is the average cost of electricity per kwh broken down per region:

UK region Average unit rate (pence per kWh)
North Scotland 15.60p
South Scotland 13.97p
North East 14.26p
North West 14.27p
Yorkshire 13.92p
East Midlands 13.86p
West Midlands 14.25p
Merseyside and North Wales 15.18p
South Wales 15.07p
South West 15.54p
London 14.53p
South East 14.68p
Eastern 14.06p
Southern 14.29p

What is the average electricity standing charge?

The average standing charge for electricity in the UK is 20.58p per day. Here's how costs break down per region:

UK region Average standing charge (pence per day)
North Scotland 20.73p
South Scotland 21.47p
North East 20.63p
North West 20.29p
Yorkshire 20.53p
East Midlands 20.22p
West Midlands 20.54p
Merseyside and North Wales 21.53p
South Wales 20.30p
South West 19.45p
London 20.39p
South East 19.25p
Eastern 20.26p
Southern 20.28p

To find out more about why gas and electricity prices in the UK vary, check out our guide to regional gas and electricity prices.

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How to work out how much energy is used by an appliance

When you know the wattage of an appliance, you can then work out how many kWhs you spend running it by multiplying the wattage by the number of hours used, then dividing this figure by 1,000.

So, if you have a 200W desktop computer and use it for ten hours, you will have spent 2kWh running this device - 200(Watts) multiplied 10(hours) = 2,000, then 2,000 divided by 1,000 = 2kWh.

How work out how much it costs to run an appliance

If you want to know how much money it costs to run your 200W computer, first you need to know your cost of electricity per kWh. Once you do, you need to multiply the kWhs used by your electricity supplier’s rate – so if your supplier charges the average UK electricity price of 14.37p per kWH, it would cost 28.74p to run it for 10 hours.

If you want to work out how much it costs to run other household appliances, such as washing machine and televisions, check out our Energy Running Costs Calculator.

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How are energy bills calculated?

When calculating the price of your energy bill, your energy provider will monitor how many kilowatt hours of gas and electricity you use over a certain period of time, and then multiply this by the price per unit set in your tariff.

The number of days covered by the billing period is then multiplied by the tariff’s daily standing charge cost. The two figures are then added together to give you a total figure for your bill.

How to understand your energy bill

If you’re serious about cutting the cost of your energy bills, it makes things a lot easier if you can find your way around one. This video explains how to understand your energy bill.


What are the current energy prices per kWh?

UK energy prices are always changing, and your energy bills will vary according to a variety of factors, one of which is your average unit cost per kWh - a higher unit rate will mean higher energy bills, depending upon how much energy you use.

And the price you pay for energy will also vary depending upon whereabouts in the country you live. Below are the average electricity unit rates and standing charges across the UK.

The good news is that UK energy prices seem to be on a downward curve right now and 2020 rates are lower than the average cost of electricity per kwh in the UK in 2019 - now is a great time to switch energy supplier. To get started, just pop your postcode in the box below.

How to compare gas and electric prices per kWh

The unit rates and prices shown by gas and electric comparison sites should be used only as an indication of price, as the actual price charged for any specific tariffs will be different depending on where in the country you live.

To get accurate results for your property, it’s important to carry out a full comparison by entering your postcode in the box below - not only are UK energy prices constantly changing, but the actual price charged for any specific deals, including the current leading gas and electricity tariffs in the UK, will be different depending on where in the country you live. That's why it can be difficult to find a single figure when looking for the cheapest energy prices per kWh.

Full details of tariff unit prices and standing charges will be displayed within this comparison. All you have to do is choose the deal you like best and we’ll take care of the energy switch for you let both your old and new suppliers that you’re moving. They'll sort the rest of the switch between them, and within three weeks you’ll be switched to a cheaper rate on gas and electricity.

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