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Ecotricity Explains: Standing Charge

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By Imogen Ford
23 Apr 2024

There are two main components to an energy bill – your unit price and standing charge. The first is pretty self-explanatory, but the latter is a bit more complex, so we get a lot of questions which we wanted to answer all in one place.  

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First up, what is standing charge?  

Standing charge is a flat rate charged per day, regardless of how much energy you use. That means it’s still applicable even if the property is empty. It’s also charged separately for gas and electricity.  

Do all suppliers charge it?  

Most suppliers do, but there may be some suppliers who have tariffs which don’t have standing charge. Instead, they’ll generally charge more on their price per unit to make up for it – or they defer the cost to other tariffs instead.  

What does it cover?  

Broadly speaking, standing charge covers the cost of maintaining the supply of energy to your home or business – it's like line rental for phones. It includes the cost to take meter readings, support government social and environmental schemes, and paying for the upgrade and maintenance of the gas and electricity grid network.  

Is standing charge more expensive on a smart meter? 

Your meter type might affect your tariff, but it doesn’t affect standing charge. For example, if both you and your neighbour are on our Green Variable tariff, and one of you has a smart meter whilst the other has a traditional credit meter, your standing charge would be the same. However, if you were on our new 1-Year Fixed EV tariff with a smart meter and your neighbour was on the Green Variable tariff with a traditional meter, your standing charge might be different. You can find more details of our available tariffs here.  

Why is standing charge more expensive in some areas? 

As standing charge covers the cost of maintaining the energy supply network, it varies depending on the cost to deliver energy in your area. As a result, more highly populated areas like London may have lower standing charges as the network is more developed and there are more meter points to carry the cost.  

Our customers are helping to build a greener Britain, as we use the profits from their bills to build more sources of green energy. Ready to join them? Switch to Ecotricity today for a greener tomorrow.

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