Standing Charges: What you need to know

Standing Charges

What’s in this guide?


When you are researching energy suppliers, you will probably come across the term ‘standing charges’, often with facts and figures alongside them.

So what are they?

Standing charges, put merely, refer to the cost per unit of energy when you’re not using it.

For instance, if you go on holiday for a couple of weeks, you will still be charged a standing charge even if you didn’t use a single penny of electricity or gas.

What are the standing charges?

Why do energy companies charge you a standing rate? Because it covers the cost of staying connected to the network, carrying out meter readings, maintenance and similar charges.

Part of your standing charge also goes towards government initiatives to help those at risk for fuel poverty.

These standing charges will remain the same no matter how much energy you use.

There aren’t any specific rules and regulations when it comes to standing charges, however, after the Retail Market Review every energy tariff is meant to have one.

Though, energy companies could set their standing charges at £0 if they wanted to.

The standing charge was put into place so it would be easier for customers to compare energy tariffs and identify the best one for you and your household.

Are there any tariffs that don’t have standing charges?

While every energy tariff has a standing charge, some are set at £0 which means you will still see it on your bill, but it won’t cost you anything.

But will these be better for you?

It depends entirely on how often you are at home. Why? If you are often away from home for whatever reason, choosing an energy tariff that doesn’t have a standing charge could be an excellent way to save money on your energy.

But your energy will generally cost more.


Business type Small, large & multi-site Tariff options Fixed & eco Tariff length 12 months to 36 months

Total Gas & Power

Business type Small, large & multi-site Tariff options Fixed, flexible & eco Tariff length 12 months to 60 months


Business type Small, large & multi-site Tariff options Fixed, flexible & eco Tariff length 12 months to 36 months


Business type Small, large & multi-site Tariff options Fixed, flexible & eco Tariff length 12 months to 36 months


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✔Options for small and large businesses
✔Eco 100% renewable options
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How can I save money on my energy?

Thanks to energy comparison tools, customers can find the best energy deals in mere minutes. All you have to do is plug in some information, sit back and wait for your results to roll in.

Switching FAQ

Is switching complicated?

Regulations are now protecting you as the customer from this stress, so your new supplier will take care of everything for you.

This means the process is pain-free, and you could benefit from saving £100s by switching energy supplier.

How long does it take to switch?

Energy suppliers have a 14 day cooling off period where you can cancel your switch without a fee, so energy companies do not do anything during that period.

After that, however, it can take around six weeks to complete the switching process.

Aren’t all energy suppliers the same?

Many customers say that customer service is more important than the price of the tariffs, which many customers say they are happy to pay a bit more to stay with a helpful and considerate supplier.

Another way that energy suppliers might differ is by price, which can vary by £100s, in some cases the most expensive tariff versus the cheapest might have a difference of around £500.

Can my tariff come with me when I move?

Sometimes you can take your tariff with you when you move, but you need to check with your energy supplier first.

You should also check the rates in your new area (with a postcode if you have it) as energy is charged differently depending on your location.

Once I switch, will my supplier tell me if prices rise?

Costs are predicted to rise between 30% and 40% in the next five years, but your energy supplier has to warn you about these price rises with a minimum of 30 days notice.


Are you paying too much for your standing charges?

Do you want to compare all of your options?

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see reviews of the top 7 energy switching sites to compare gas & electricity.