kWh: What is the price of energy in the UK?

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Gas and electricity are measured in kWh, although they are charged at different rates. The kWh cost of energy will vary according to what tariff you are on, your chosen supplier, where you are in the country and even what time of the day you use it. If you feel you are paying too much for your kWh, then you are entitled to look for a better deal from another supplier. Here at Papernest we can help you make this switch. As prices per kWh vary according to what part of the UK you live in, it might be worth comparing energy prices to find a tariff that suits you best. But first, lets dive into the cost of kWh.
Last update: November 2022

As you may have heard on the news, the UK energy market is currently under an immense amount of stress as a result of a global gas shortage driving up costs and putting several energy suppliers out of business. To learn more about this and stay updated on a daily basis you can read our page on the UK energy crisis.

It’s also worth thinking about what appliances you use in your home and how much power they consume, as this has a big impact on your energy bill. There are also a number of other ways you can reduce your energy usage, such as better insulation, boiler maintenance and changing energy habits.

How much does a kWh cost in the UK?

The average kWh cost of standard electricity in the UK is, as of today, 50.65 pence per kWh, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). For gas it is 15.73 pence per kWh. However, you must take two elements into account when considering these prices:

  • These are just the national averages. Different regions of the UK pay more or less for their energy, and the rate you pay also depends on your contract or rate with your supplier. Generally, a kWh of energy will cost less on a fixed rate than it will on a standard variable rate, so it is worth checking your bill to see what tariff you are on.
  • To compare energy tariffs you need to take into account both the unite rate, or kwh cost, and the standing charges, daily charges you pay to your energy supplier.

Your bill will list how much you pay per kWh of energy, and help you to compare your rates to the national average and those offered by other suppliers.

What is a kW and what is a kWh?

A kilowatt hour, known as a kWh, is a way of measuring how much energy you consume. It is a unit that keeps track of the amount of energy used by appliances running over a period of time.

Imagine you have a 100-watt lightbulb switched on. It would take 10 hours to use up 1 kWh of energy. Alternatively, a 2,000-watt tumble dryer would use 1 kWh in just 30 minutes.

How much is 1kw in one hour?
One kWh is the amount of energy you would use if you ran a 1,000-watt appliance for one hour. In the metric system, 1,000 = kilo, so 1,000 watts is equal to one kilowatt. For example, if you switch on a 100-watt light bulb, it would take 10 hours to use one kilowatt-hour of energy.

What is the average electricity standing charge?

Standing charges generally range from about 5p to 60p per day for electricity, depending on your choice of tariff and location. Since the beginning of the energy crisis these prices have soared to reach an average of 35.92 for electricity and 28.34 in November 2022.

It is usually paid at a flat rate, so won’t go up or down over time, unlike the cost per kWh of power.

Ofgem removed the legal requirement to have a standing charge in 2016. Before the energy crisis several suppliers in the UK had opted not to use it such as Utilita with their Smart Energy tariffs. This might sound like a good idea but the price per unit is high, so whether you save at all could depend on factors like your energy usage or location. This is why we don’t recommend them for most households that use energy every day, but we do for vacation homes that may go extended periods of time without the power being used.

Who offers the cheapest energy per kwh in November 2022?

The cheapest dual fuel tariffs in the UK as of November 2022 are as follows:

Cheapest Dual Fuel Tariffs
SupplierTariff NameAvailabilityAnnual costs dual fuelAnnual costs electricityAnnual costs gasGreen Tariff**
Click energy logo/£ 1,054.46*£ 480.56*£ 573.91*✖️
Click energy logo/£ 1,084.62*£ 480.56*£ 573.91*✖️
EDF Energy logo/£ 1,094.91*£ 894.68*£ 443.50*✖️

*Prices vary from one city to another, so we display national averages
*Based on Ofgem’s TDCV (2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year).
**A tariff is green if for each kWh consumed a kWh of renewable energy is injected in the grid.

Cheapest Fixed Dual Fuel Tariff in the UK

If you are looking for a fixed rate tariff, you’ll find them below:

Cheapest Dual Fuel Fixed Rate Tariffs
SupplierTariff TypeNameAvailabilityAnnual costs electricityAnnual costs gasAnnual costs dual fuelGreen Tariff**
Click energy logoFixed - 24 months/£ 480.56*£ 573.91*£ 1,054.46*✖️
Click energy logoFixed - 12 months/£ 480.56*£ 573.91*£ 1,084.62*✖️
EDF Energy logoFixed - 12 months/£ 894.68*£ 443.50*£ 1,094.91*✖️

*Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages
*Based on the official TDCV : 2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year
**Is a Green tariff if all the energy consumed is compensated by renewable energy injections in the grid.

Which energy tariffs are live?

As you know, the energy market is currently in turmoil and only few suppliers currently offer live tariffs. In the following table we filtered the offers that are available as we talk.

Cheapest Dual Fuel Live Tariffs
SupplierTypeNameAvailabilityAnnual CostGreen Tariff**
Utility Warehouse logoDual FuelDouble Gold2,511.54*✖️
Utility Warehouse logoDual FuelPrepayment2,581.02*✖️
E energy logoDual FuelPrepayment Variable2,608.87*✖️
Scottish Power logo----*-

*Prices vary from one city to another, so we display national averages
*Based on 2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year on average
**Is a Green tariff if all the energy consumed is compensated by renewable energy injections in the grid.

Who offers the cheapest electricity?

In the latest report, published 2021, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy(BEIS) declared the average cost for standard electricity in the UK was 18.9 p/kWh.

How do you calculate the cost of 1 kWh?
The kilowatt-hour rate is the price of electricity supplied by your electricity provider. To figure out your kilowatt-hour rate, divide your total electricity bill, minus all taxes, by your total electricity consumption.

To find out if you are paying above or below the UK average, take a look at your most recent bill. This should give you the electricity price you are paying per kWh. If it’s less than 18.9p/kWh then you are on an affordable tariff. However, again, it does depend where you live.

Cheapest Electricity Tariffs
SupplierNameTariff TypeAvailabilityUnit RateStanding ChargesAnnual CostExit FeeGreen Tariff**
Click energy logo/Fixed - 24 months480.56*480.56*£ 480.56*£ 480.56✖️
Click energy logo/Fixed - 12 months£ 510.72*510.72*510.72*£ 510.72✖️
Click energy logo/Green - Fixed 12535.26*535.26*£ 535.26*£ 535.26✔️

*Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages
*Based on 2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year on average
**A Green tariff means the supplier injects in the grid the same amount of renewable energy that is consumed.

Which electricity tariffs are live?

Following you’ll find the cheapest electricity tariffs that are currently live.

Cheapest Electricity Live Tariffs
SupplierTariff TypeNameAvailabilityStanding ChargeUnit Rate Annual cost Exit CostGreen Tariff**
Utility Warehouse logoPrepaymentPrepayment Variable38.28*34.82*£ 1,149.47*£ 0.00✔️
Utility Warehouse logoDouble GoldStandard Variable31.57*35.80*£ 1,153.38*£ 0.00✔️
E energy logoPrepayment VariablePrepayment Variable53.90*34.81*£ 1,206.36*£ 0.00✖️
Scottish Power logo----*-*£ -*£ --

*Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages
*Based on Ofgem’s TDCV (2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year).
**Is a Green tariff if all the energy consumed is compensated by renewable energy injections in the grid.

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Gas price per kWh in the UK

The average cost of a kWh of gas in the UK is around 7.37p. For electricity, it is about 18.9p.

Is gas cheaper than electricity?

Gas is cheaper than electricity. However, as around 80% of homes in the UK are hooked up to gas mains and use this as a heating source, we tend to use a lot more gas.

On average we use about 12,000 kWh of gas a year in the Uk. This will go up and down depending on the size of your home. We use around 2,900 kWh of electricity on average. So, it usually means we end up paying a little more per year for electricity than we do for gas.

The three cheapest gas tariffs in the UK are currently:

Cheapest Gas Tariffs
SupplierNameTariff TypeAvailabilityStanding ChargeUnit RateAnnual CostExit FeeGreen Tariff**
EDF Energy logo/Fixed - 12 months21.48*3.04*£ 443.50*£ 15.00✖️
Coop energy logo/Standard Variable23.84*3.26*£ 478.28*£ 0.00✖️
Octopus Energy logo/Standard Variable23.85*3.27*£ 479.51*£ 0.00✔️

*Prices displayed are national averages
*Based on Ofgem’s TDCV (2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year).
**Is a Green tariff if all the energy consumed is compensated by renewable energy injections in the grid.

Which gas tariffs are live in 2022?

However, not all gas tariffs are available for new customers. For having a better overview for the options that are live, you can look at the following list.

Cheapest Gas Live Tariffs
SupplierTariff TypeNameAvailabilityStanding ChargeUnit RateAnnual CostExit FeeGreen Tariff**
Utility Warehouse logoStandard VariablePrepayment Variable26.61*10.51*£ 1,358.16 *£ 0.00✔️
E energy logoPrepayment VariablePrepayment Variable29.49*10.79*£ 1,402.51 *£ 0.00✖️
Utility Warehouse logoPrepayment VariablePrepayment37.51*10.79*£ 1,431.55 *£ 0.00✖️
Scottish Power logo----*-*£ -*£ --

*Prices differ on a postcode basis, this table therefore displays national averages
*Based on Ofgem’s TDCV (2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year).
**A Green tariff means the supplier injects in the grid the same amount of renewable energy that is consumed.

Unit cost of electricity prices per kWh by UK region

The average electricity bill per month in the UK is £56.50. However, this can be broken down into three sizes of home:

  1. Small home: £26.50
  2. Medium home: £40.50
  3. Large home: £59.25

However, the rates you pay for electricity also vary according to where you live. The rates per kWh across the UK are as follows:

Electricity prices by UK region
UK Region Average variable unit price in 2021 (p/kWh)
North Scotland 18.8p
South Scotland 18.8p
North East 18.4p
North West 18.4p
Yorkshire 18.2p
East Midlands 18.4p
West Midlands 18.6p
Merseyside and North Wales 20.2p
South Wales 19.5p
South West 19.5p
London 18.9p
South East 19.5p
Eastern 18.8p
Southern 18.8p

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Fixed Electricity Costs per region

As well as paying for what you use, you also have to pay the standing charge. These are fixed costs that you pay, regardless of how much energy you use.

Fixed electricity prices by UK region
UK Region Average fixed cost (£/year)
North Scotland £99.3
South Scotland £86.7
North East £90.0
North West £83.1
Yorkshire £92.4
East Midlands £82.9
West Midlands £88.5
Merseyside and North Wales £81.6
South Wales £87.2
South West £89.8
London £88.0
South East £85.6
Eastern £87.1
Southern £85.3

What affects the price per kWh?

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of a kWh of both gas and electricity in the UK. Increases in price are usually due to an increase in the wholesale price. For electricity, this is usually down to the amount generated. This can be determined by environmental factors and the state of the economy. But it’s not just wholesale prices that affect kWh costs.

Prices also go up and down due to competition. The Big Six energy providers tend to set the prices and group very closely together around the energy price cap. When one raises or lower prices the others usually do the same, and this influences the smaller suppliers around the UK.

Gas prices in the UK are also affected by international factors such as global supply and crisis, as well as by the season and weather conditions. Depending on what kind of meter you have, the price of a kWh may also change according to the time of day.

How are energy bills calculated?

Two main components make up your energy bill. These are the amount of energy you use in kWh and the standing charge – the daily costs of supplying your home. There are also other associated costs such as taxes and environmental charges:

Your bill can be broken down as follows:

  • 67% supplier margins and costs
  • 16% distribution charges
  • 2% transmission charges
  • 6% environmental charges
  • 5% VAT
  • 4% other

How can you make your energy bills cheaper?

There are numerous ways that you can save on your energy bills, including:

  1. Turning off standby appliances
  2. Installing a smart thermostat
  3. Turning down your thermostat
  4. Installing a new boiler
  5. Washing clothes at a lower temperature
  6. Being smarter about water
  7. Thinking about how well your home is insulated
  8. Using up to date appliances

However, the main thing to do is to make a switch to a provider that offers better rates, which could help you to save up to £300 on your energy bills.

What can you use a kWh for?

Once you understand what a kWh is and how it works, it opens the door to saving money on your energy bills. For example, every appliance in your home will have a watt rating telling you how much power it uses. For example, you may have a 500-watt heater. That means if you run the heater for one hour it will use 500 watts or half a kWh. This means you can work out how many kWh every appliance uses and see how much it is costing you to run.

You can do this by finding out how much you are paying per kWh of energy. This information will be on your bill. Depending on the type of tariff or meter you have, there may be more than one kWh charge. However, your bill is not quite that simple. As well as paying for your usage, you also need to pay the standing charge (which also all suppliers use in the UK). This is the daily rate you pay to maintain your supply. This, plus your usage, tells you how much you will pay on your bill.

Switch energy suppliers

Without doubt, the best way to save money on your energy bills is to switch provider. There are around 50 small and large suppliers in the UK, each targeting customers in different ways. Depending on how you use your energy, there may be a tariff more suitable to your needs. That means you could find a deal that offers you better value, a dual fuel option, or more sustainable energy to help you reduce your footprint.

All you have to do is find a tariff that you like, then you can make the switch. It couldn’t be easier. Plus, here at Papernest we are on hand to help you with everything you need to switch. Just give us a call on 0330 818 6225 to find out more.

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Is gas cheaper than electricity?

The price per kWh is much cheaper for gas in the UK than electricity, which is why we generally use it for central heating and hot water. However, as we use more of it for these reasons it tends to cost about the same as electricity over the course of a year.

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

To see how many kWh an appliance might be using, find the label and see what wattage it is. If it is 500w, for example, it would need to be on for two hours to make 1000w, or 1kWh.

Who has the cheapest electricity per kWh?

New tariffs are always coming on the market offering cheaper deals. It’s important to look at the difference between unit prices per kWh and the standing charges. These are combined for overall energy prices. However, the energy supplier that has the cheapest unit price is by Click Energy.

Average annual bill per region

The average energy bill across the UK can vary according to the different tariffs, kWh rates and standing charges that apply in different regions.

Updated on 11 Nov, 2022

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