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.

Between 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2019, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with Uswitch saved £479 or more.

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.

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.

Electricity prices per kwh

Supplier Tariff Avg. kWh unit price (ex VAT) Annual Standing Charge (ex VAT)  
ScottishPower Online Fix and Save August 2018 12.376 pence £114.28 Compare prices
ScottishPower Help Beat Cancer Fix and Save August 2019 Online 12.376 pence £142.82 Compare prices
British Gas All Online Mar 2019 12.499 pence £83.15 Compare prices
Sainsbury's Energy Price Promise March 2019 12.827 pence £87.86 Compare prices
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed 12.978 pence £85.78 Compare prices
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed (all online) 12.978 pence £85.78 Compare prices
E.ON E.ON Go Online 1 Year High User v1 13.119 pence £77.93 Compare prices

Gas price per kwh

Supplier Tariff Avg. kWh unit price (ex VAT) Annual Standing Charge (ex VAT)  
British Gas All Online Mar 2019 2.78 pence £74.57 Compare prices
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed 2.838 pence £85.78 Compare prices
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed (all online) 2.838 pence £85.78 Compare prices
E.ON E.ON Go Online 1 Year High User v1 2.839 pence £90.08 Compare prices
EDF Energy Blue+Price Protection Oct18 2.855 pence £91.25 Compare prices
ScottishPower Online Fix and Save August 2018 2.859 pence £114.28 Compare prices
ScottishPower Help Beat Cancer Fix and Save August 2019 Online 2.859 pence £142.82 Compare prices

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.

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, 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.

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

 

What are the current energy prices per kWh?

Energy rates are always changing, and you're 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.

What is the average electricity unit rate per kWh?

The average unit rate for electricity in the UK is 14.40p per kWh. Here's how costs break 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 energy prices vary across the UK, check out our guide to regional gas and electricity prices.

How to compare gas and electric prices per kWh

When comparing energy deals, the unit rates and prices shown 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.

In order 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 energy prices constantly changing, but the the actual price charged for any specific deals, including the current leading electricity and gas tariffs, 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 chooose 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.

Quickly compare your energy and save up to £479*

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