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Standard rate tariffs

Standard rate energy tariffs

Find out what makes an energy plan ‘standard’, whether you’re on a standard energy plan and what to do about it if so

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What’s makes an energy plan standard?

A standard energy plan (or standard variable rate tariff) refers to an energy supplier’s basic, variable rate plan. Sometimes the plan name itself will have the word "standard" in it, but often it will not.

This plan is usually the most expensive tariff the supplier offers.

A supplier’s standard plan is what any new customer that does not request a specific plan will be placed on — their default tariff. For example, if you move house, you inherit the supplier of the previous tenant, and will automatically be placed on their standard plan when the supplier takes you on.

This plan will be "variable rate" which means your unit rate costs can go up or down.

This plan will not have an exit fee - which means you are free to switch away without penalty at any time.

Sometimes these plans are referred to as "evergreen" tariffs.

Pros and cons of standard variable rate plans

Pros

  • No exit fees. You’re free to switch to a better plan at any time
  • Sometimes - though not often - variable rate plans can be very cheap. However, because prices are subject to change, you must be diligent to ensure those rates stay cheap

Cons

  • You’ll pay more. Standard variable rate plans are very often the most expensive plan you can be on
  • You’re not protected from price rises. Standard variable rate plans are the ones affected when suppliers announce price rises

How can I check if I’m on a standard plan?

If you have never switched energy supplier, you are likely on your supplier’s standard (and likely the most expensive) energy plan.

Or, if you had a fixed plan that has expired and you did not elect to switch to a new plan, then you will have been rolled on to your supplier’s standard variable rate plan.

To check if your plan is standard, check the table below for a list of the big six's standard plan names:

Big six's standard plans:

SupplierPlan namePrice
British GasStandard£1044Compare now
EDF EnergyStandard (Variable)£1081Compare now
SSEStandard£1129Compare now
E.ONE.ON Energy Plan£1143Compare now
ScottishPowerOnline Standard£1166Compare now
npowerStandard SC£1186Compare now

Prices are based on average bill sizes for a medium energy user on a dual fuel plan paying by monthly direct debit, and averaged across all regions. This table is updated hourly from uSwitch's database of all standard plans from the big six: British Gas, E.ON, SSE, ScottishPower, npower and EDF Energy.

Compared to the cheapest overall plans

SupplierPlan nameTariff typePrice
IRESAIresa Flex4 12 month Fixed Direct DebitFixed for 12 months£833Compare now
Economy EnergyDirect Saver 2017 (v3)Fixed for 12 months£842Compare now
Avro EnergySimple and BrightFixed for 12 months£871Compare now
Tonik EnergyPositive Energy v2Fixed for 12 months£879Compare now
So EnergySo HippoFixed for 12 months£880Compare now
TOTO EnergyDiscount Variable Saver March 2017Fixed£889Compare now
Bristol EnergyBristol Energy 1 Year Fix Issue 11Fixed for 12 months£894Compare now
Affect EnergyFixed Until March 2018 v3Fixed until 31 Mar 2018£895Compare now
Green Star EnergyRate Saver 12m Fixed 3703Fixed for 12 months£905Compare now
iSupplyEnergyiFix 12-Month Apr18Fixed for 12 months£906Compare now

Prices are based on average bill sizes for a medium energy user on a dual fuel plan paying by monthly direct debit, and averaged across all regions. This table is updated hourly from uSwitch's database of all plans on the open market that are available in at least 7 of the 14 regions.

How can I change from a standard energy plan?

Switching energy is easier because you can be assured you will not pay an early exit fee. To switch away from a standard energy plan, run an energy plan comparison to see all available plans for you.

Read more about switching energy plans.

Protect your home against rising energy bills

Switch to a fixed rate deal today to secure your energy costs