Electricity prices

Since the Autumn of 2022, electricity prices haven’t been determined by actual market prices but instead dedicated by two government interventions, the Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Price Cap.

Based upon the current energy price cap, homes on a variable electricity tariff are paying approximately 29p/kWh on electricity until March 2024.

But this is just an approximation; the exact electricity cost per kWh depends on your payment type and address. Read on to find out more.

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Current electricity prices per kWh

Since the first of October 2022, the electricity price per kWh paid by domestic users has been determined by Ofgem’s Price Cap or the government’s Energy Price Guarantee.

Confusing right? With a few tables and graphs, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about home electricity prices to help you decide whether to fix energy prices for 2024.

Here’s a graph that best explains how electricity prices have changed over the past two years based on these government interventions in the energy market.

Graph of the effect of the Energy Price Guarantee and Ofgem’s price cap in 2022 and 2023.

Source: UK Parliament research briefing.

Read on to the next section to see how these schemes translate into a cost per kWh.

Paying less than 29p/kWh is now possible by agreeing to a fixed electricity tariff. Check if you can save on electricity rates today with our home energy comparison tool.

How much does 1 kWh of electricity cost in 2024?

Here’s a table on how much 1 kWh of electricity costs for domestic users in 2024 based upon the caps imposed by the government support schemes:

PeriodApr to Jun 2023Jul to Sep 2023Oct to Dec 2023Jan to Mar 2024
Applicable SchemeEnergy Price GuaranteePrice capPrice capPrice cap
Electricity p/kWh29.3 to 35.826.9 to 29.627.3 (average)28.6 (average)

This table shows a range of rates due to regional variations in electricity prices, but for exact rates, here are the complete breakdowns produced by the government and Ofgem:

Are electricity prices rising?

Home electricity prices have increased significantly over the past few years.

The graph below compares a typical home electricity bill in 2019 versus 2022.

Graph comparing pre and post-pandemic home electricity bills in Britain.

Source: UK Government energy price statistics assuming an average home energy consumption of 3,600 kWh annually.

The rise in energy prices continued despite the government’s Energy Price Guarantee, Ofgem’s price caps and the £400 discount offered in the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

The underlying reason for the rise in electricity prices is due to significant increases in the wholesale cost of electricity. Check out our wholesale electricity prices monthly update.

What’s the cost of electricity per payment type?

The table below shows the average UK electricity bill by payment type extracted from the government’s 2022 domestic energy price statistics.

YearStandard creditDirect debitPrepayment

The payment of home electricity bills by direct debit and prepayment is typically cheaper than the equivalent standard credit arrangement as the supplier needs to spend less time chasing unpaid bills for the electricity they have already provided.

How much are electricity prices per region

There are significant regional differences in domestic electricity prices in Britain due to how many customers need electricity in the area, how much electricity each customer uses and the number of power generators in the region.

Below summarises the electricity prices paid per kWh in 2022 by region according to the latest published government statistics.

RegionElectricity p/kWh
Merseyside & North Wales36.33
South East35.04
South West34.96
South Scotland34.85
West Midlands34.46
North West34.21
East Midlands33.83
North East33.43
South Wales33.31
North Scotland32.61
Northern Ireland24.87

Source: UK government publication – Annual domestic energy price statistics 2022.

Although the energy price cap is often quoted as an individual average annual household cost figure, if you dive into the details, you’ll notice that the capped rates also vary by region.

For more information, check out our complete guide to the energy price cap.

Why does the price of electricity vary per region?

To understand regional differences in the price of electricity, it’s necessary to understand the structure of British electricity infrastructure.

The British mainland is divided into regional electricity distribution networks connected to the National Grid. Each regional network is responsible for delivering a power supply to all homes and businesses in their region.

The distribution and transmission fees in each region are determined directly by Ofgem, the regulator, reflecting the costs of operating and maintaining the local network. Running the infrastructure to distribute electricity is more expensive in some regions than others.

Which region has the highest electricity prices?

The latest government statistics show that homes in Merseyside and North Wales paid the highest unit price per kWh of electricity in 2022, with an average unit rate of 36p/kWh.

A recent BBC article quoted that the average annual dual fuel in Merseyside and North Wales is £121 a year more expensive than the cheapest region.

The additional costs come from the cost required to deliver electricity to rural locations. A farm in a Northern Welsh valley could require hundreds of meters of power lines that serve just a single property. The cost per property is much higher compared with densely populated areas.

Historical prices of electricity in the UK

Below is a summary of the average electricity bills in the UK since 2010. The data has been extracted from the Government’s annual domestic energy price statistics. The figures below assume an average household electricity consumption of 3,600 kWh, including VAT.

YearStandard creditDirect debitPrepayment meterOverall average

The price of electricity was largely stable in the 2010s but has soared since the start of the conflict with Ukraine.

A more intuitive way to understand the effect of rising electricity prices is using inflation statistics. Read on for more information.

Electricity inflation over the years

Inflation measures the changes in prices of goods and services over time.

The Office for National Statistics (“ONS”) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the organisation which measures the Consumer Prices Index (“CPI”), which tracks the inflation rate of various goods and services used in the UK.

Electricity prices form a significant component of CPI, and the ONS publishes statistics on the rising cost of energy. We’ve used this data to show how the domestic cost of electricity has changed over the last decade.

Graph of energy price inflation in the UK over the past decade.

The high electricity inflation rates directly impact household budgets across the country by rising energy bills. Still, there is also a secondary knock-on effect on other goods and services.

For instance, a supermarket uses lots of electricity to refrigerate food. The supermarket needs to offset the rising costs of their business electricity rates by increasing the price of the food they sell.

Why is electricity so expensive in the UK?

The price of electricity in the UK is currently elevated and significantly more expensive than the historical norm. Here’s a summary of the factors making electricity so expensive in the UK:

  • The UK relies on gas-fired power plants to generate about 40% of all electricity. Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, the UK now relies on expensive LNG imports to supply its gas.
  • The UK is pushing to decarbonise its power network by investing in green energy generators, which are more expensive than fossil fuel-based equivalents.

Here’s our full explainer on why British electricity is so expensive.

What is the current UK electricity price?

The ICE Exchange provides a live trading platform for the purchase and sale of electricity on the UK National Grid. Still, these prices (published here) are those traded by energy generators and suppliers and don’t represent the prices available to homeowners.

Instead, the AquaSwitch electricity comparison tool allows you to see the current electricity prices offered by UK energy suppliers. Start by entering your postcode.

At what point were electricity prices at their highest in the UK?

Electricity prices as traded on the UK National Grid peaked on Monday, the 29th of August 2022. (According to the ICE Exchange, the National Grid appointed index of wholesale electricity prices).

Is electricity cheaper than gas in the UK?

No, a kWh of electricity in the UK is currently more expensive than a kWh of gas for multiple reasons.

Firstly, the UK energy grid relies on gas power to generate electricity, but even the most modern gas-fired power stations have a thermal efficiency of approximately 50%. This means a power station must use 2 kWh of natural gas to produce 1 kWh of electricity, making gas-generated electricity more expensive than gas.

Secondly, UK electricity is generated from a variety of sources, including nuclear, hydro, wind and solar energy. Each source has a corresponding price per kWh that is currently cheaper than the kWh of gas.

What is the current UK electricity price?

The ICE Exchange provides a live trading platform for the purchase and sale of electricity on the UK National Grid. Still, these prices (published here) are those traded by energy generators and business energy suppliers and don’t represent the prices available to homeowners.

Instead, the AquaSwitch electricity comparison tool allows you to see the current electricity prices offered by a panel of the best energy suppliers. Start by entering your postcode here.

At what point were electricity prices at their highest in the UK?

Electricity prices as traded on the UK National Grid peaked on Monday, the 29th of August 2022. (According to the ICE Exchange, the National Grid-appointed index of wholesale electricity prices).

According to Trading Economics, which takes benchmark spot price data from buyers and sellers, the UK spot price of electricity temporarily peaked at a whopping £580 per MWh on September 26th 2022.

How to reduce the cost of electricity

Here are the two most straightforward ways to reduce the cost of electricity:

Compare electricity suppliers: Fixed home energy tariffs can provide a cheaper supply than the current price cap. Compare electricity prices today and see if a more affordable alternative is available by switching energy suppliers.

Use less electricity: Electricity will always be charged per kWh of electricity used. Using electricity more efficiently will result in cheaper bills. Let’s look at some top tips for reducing electricity in the home:

  1. Use a Smart Meter: A smart meter measures your home’s energy usage and communicates that information to your energy provider in real-time.  A smart meter measures your energy usage in real time and provides detailed information about which appliances or devices use the most electricity. This helps you make more informed decisions about using energy in your home.
  2. Energy Monitors: Energy monitors are handy little gadgets linked to a smart meter that presents live usage data to help you keep track of your electricity usage.
  3. Power-Saving Plugs: A power-saving plug is a device that sits between the wall socket and the appliance. It is designed to stop all energy usage to the appliance when not in use or standby mode.
  4. Use an air fryer: Using an air fryer rather than your conventional oven can save you up to 30% on your electricity consumption.
  5. Using a microwave: A microwave oven saves electricity as it heats the food and not the air around it, meaning it works instantly, and you do not need to wait for it to get to the temperature. This means quicker cooking times and less electricity used.