British Gas has announced plans to make their standing charges the same across all gas and electricity tariffs for all customers by the end of 2013.
The move by British Gas to use one standing charge should help simplify energy bills for consumers, but Which? wants energy companies to go further and remove standing charges altogether. We want to see the introduction of a single unit price for energy tariffs, in the same way petrol prices are displayed, to enable customers to easily compare prices and find the best deal for them.
By the end of this year, British Gas will reduce the eight standing charges they currently have to one single charge.
EDF Energy was the first company to announce plans for a single standing charges across gas and electricity tariffs.
Standing charges on energy bills
Standing charges are fixed amounts that are added to customers’ bills every day. Standing charges are supposed to cover suppliers’ fixed costs such as meter reading, maintenance and connecting you to the network.
Standing charges are separate from unit rates, which are based on the amount of energy you use.
However, as Which? has highlighted in our simple energy prices campaign, the current system makes it difficult to compare tariffs and find out which is cheapest.
Energy price comparison
Consumers currently struggle to find the best deals and cheapest tariffs due to varying prices that depend on a number of different factors. Compare energy prices with Which? Switch to find out if you’re on the best tariff for you – switching supplier could work out to be a better deal.
Compare energy companies and see which performed best in our energy companies reviews. We rated EDF Energy, British Gas, Eon, Scottish Power and Npower, based on the experiences of more than 10,000 customers.
You can also compare the ratings of these big energy suppliers with smaller energy companies.