Electricity prices per kWh

Electricity unlike gas in the UK has been experiencing massive changes in the energy market with the growth of the renewable energy sector. The UK produced about a third of its energy from renewables according to Grid Watch with 2019 at 28.98% and 2020 to date 36.242%.

As Hydro, solar, wind and biomass produce an ever larger percentage of our energy and the cost to generate this green electricity comes down with lower electricity prices it will filter down to the end consumer in the form of lower energy bills.

The cheapest cost per kWh for electricity in the UK is around 12 pence per kWh (Neon Reef). Domestic electricity prices can be as high as 24 pence per kWh (ebico).

Renewable energy tariffs are now consistently the cheapest as you can see by our monthly tariff watch that records the ten lowest priced energy deals available each month.

Every electricity supplier has at least one energy tariff and each tariff has a price attached to it which is made up of a fixed amount (standing charge) and the amount based on how much electricity you use, the kWh unit price. Together these two figures combine to make up your electricity bill. If you are on a duel fuel tariff (electricity and gas) the same is true for your gas supply.

What's the difference between the daily charge and kWh price?

People often assume that their electricity bills are based solely on the amount of electric they use at home. Certainly the cost of electricity is usually the largest part of your energy bill but you also have a service charge for just being connected to the electrical grid.

Unit rate (kWh)

The unit rate is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and this is the price you pay for every unit of electricity that you use. Usually this is a single rate that is charged no matter what time of day or night. A dual rate is usually associated with Economy 7 where you pay one rate (usually higher than average) for daytime electricity and a lower discount rate for around 7 hours off peak night time.

Daily standing charge

The standing charge is a daily price you are charged to cover the cost of running and maintaining the national grid. You'll pay this even if you have solar panels and the cost varies depending on what part of the UK you live in. Some regions are cheaper such as the south east whilst others are more expensive like North Wales. It's based on where you live rather than how much you use.

Cost of a kWh in the UK

The lowest cost of a kWh unit of electricity in the UK is about 12 pence, but kWh prices can go as high as 23 pence with a zero standing charge tariff. Knowing the price of a unit of electricity is only useful if you have a way to compare it to other similar tariffs. The cost of an economy 7 tariff is going to differ from the cost of single rate electricity as part of a dual fuel tariff.

Cheapest kWh prices in the UK

No-one is going to be looking for the most expensive British utility company so they can pay the most per kWh for their electricity. You are most likely interested in the energy companies with the cheapest kWh electricity charges in order to lower your energy bill.

At Safe Energy Switch we monitor home energy prices and let people know where they can get the best energy deals from. Here are the electricity costs from some of the most consistently low cost providers in the UK.

Energy costs vary depending on your electricity region which is why suppliers and comparison sites ask for your postcode in order to give you an accurate quote. The figures we are looking at here are for the eastern region so your exact kWh figure may vary. However in general you'll get an idea of cost and who generally has the lowest kWh electricity costs.

Compare electricity tariffs

There are literally thousands of electricity tariffs all offering different rates so the only way to know which electricity tariff suits your needs best is by comparing them. You can compare all of the currently available energy tariffs by doing an energy comparison for tariffs that are currently live.

Comparison sites and energy providers will only show you the currently live tariffs that are on offer. Most tariffs are eventually withdrawn from the market, this is when the energy company launches a new tariff to replace it or it was a short term offer to draw in new customers.

Even when an electricity tariff is no longer available to switch to there can still be many existing customers who are still on these deals.

Outfox the Market electricity cost per kWh

Tariff Name Electricity daily standing charge Electricity pence per KWh Gas daily standing charge Gas pence per KWh
Fix'd 20 11.0 11.32 12.60 11.32 2.49
ONE GREEN FLEX 2.0 26.25 11.87 24.88 2.07
FIX'd 20 5.0 23.10 12.24 24.99 2.10
Fix'd 20 5.0 Plus 26.25 11.87 24.88 2.07

These are some of the cheapest tariffs from Outfox The Market and the cost per kWh for electricity ranges from 11.87p to 12.60p. So for every kWh you use it would cost you about 12 pence.

The daily standing charge for electricity ranges from 11.32p to 26.25p. The standing charge is something you have to pay every day whether or not you use any electricity. It is generally better to find an electric tariff with a low daily standing charge if you don't use that much electricity even though your kWh prices may be higher over the course of a month you will end up with overall electricity bills.

Octopus electricity cost per kWh

Tariff Electricity daily standing charge Electricity pence per KWh Gas daily standing charge Gas pence per KWh
Octopus Fixed 21.672 15.0255 17.85 2.562
Flexible Octopus 19.383 15.519 16.8 3.2025
Super Green Octopus 21.672 15.0255 17.85 2.961

Octopus is not the most expensive energy supplier in terms of cost per kWh but their tariffs in general place it somewhere near the middle of the market price wise. As you can see from the table above their price for every kWh of electricity stands at about the 15 pence mark.

Looking at the numbers it makes Octopus about 3 to 4p per kWh more expensive than Outfox The Market. However you have to take into account the daily charge for electricity which varies from around 19-21 pence per day for Octopus tariffs compared to 11-26 pence per day standing charge for Outfox's tariffs.

For the average energy user in the UK in a typical 3 bed semi you would be far better off with Outfox compared to Octopus even if you chose Outfox The Markets most pricey tariff.

Current energy prices per kWh

Tariffs and energy rates change all the time and vary by region so if you are trying to find the cheapest cost per kWh for your electricity you need to be aware of new tariffs being released by energy providers.

We regularly check energy costs and publish the latest cheap energy offers from energy suppliers. You could also sign up to our email alert that will let you know when a cheap energy deal is released so you don't miss out.

The big six energy companies tend to charge more per kWh. The 'Energy Plan' tariff from E.on currently charges 17.801p per kWh for electricity which is more than 2 pence per kWh more expensive than Octopus. The daily standing charge is 24.5 pence per day, about £90 a year for a typical UK household which is in addition to what you pay for every kWh of electricity that you use.

What is a good price for electricity per kWh in the UK?

A good price per kWh in the UK is around 12 pence which you will only be able to get from the cheaper energy suppliers. You also need to take into account the daily standing charge that is accompanied by any electricity tariff, the amount you pay per day regardless of how much electricity you use.

Economy 7 electricity prices per kWh

If you have no gas supply and are entirely electric only then your cost per kWh would vary between night and day. However unless you effectively use the cheaper night time energy then it may actually be paying more as daytime charges are far higher.

Together Energy's Green Together Fixed May21 tariff cost 12.792p per kWh at the standard rate and 8.640p per kWh for night time electricity and a 24.09p per day standing charge. For a typical 1 bed flat this would work out at £395 per year.

Compared to the Neon Reef 'Aqua One' tariff you would pay 12.248p per kWh for electricity (they don't have a separate night time rate) and a standing charge of 13.514p per day for the same one bed flat it would cost you £343 per year, about £50 less.

So when comparing the electricity costs the per kWh price is important but you need to take into account the daily charge, single and dual rate tariffs as well as how much electricity you actually use.

Some tariffs are more beneficial for smaller properties and others for larger properties and high energy users. With economy 7 you also have to consider how much you would actually use the night time rate.

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Comparing kWh prices for electricity

If you are looking to reduce your energy bills it is not just a case of looking for the cheapest kWh price charged by energy utilities for every kWh used. Someone with a holiday home or second home or property that is not occupied for a large part of the year wouldn't necessarily benefit from a low price kWh tariff as you would need to take into account the daily standing charge. In this case a zero standing charge with a higher per kWh electric price may work out cheaper overall.

The same is true for all households as the cost of electricity is not just based on the cost of each unit of electricity. The only practical way to figure of the overall cost is by visiting an energy suppliers website for a quote or using an energy comparison site to compare electricity prices across a broad spectrum of suppliers.