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Standard rate tariffs

What are standard variable 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£1120Compare now
SSEStandard£1129Compare now
E.ONE.ON Energy Plan£1143Compare now
EDF EnergyStandard (Variable)£1160Compare 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 Standard VariableVariable£833Compare now
IRESAIresa Flex4 12 month Fixed Direct DebitFixed for 12 months£833Compare now
TOTO EnergyTOTO Smart Meter SaverVariable£839Compare now
Economy EnergyOnline SaverFixed for 12 months£844Compare now
Avro EnergySimple and BetterFixed for 12 months£854Compare now
Green Network EnergyGNE Italian Touch 12 Month Fixed V9Fixed for 12 months£861Compare now
BulbVari-FairVariable£867Compare now
Tonik EnergyPositively Green v3Fixed for 12 months£874Compare now
So EnergySo KangarooFixed for 12 months£883Compare now
One SelectSecure 1 Year Fixed September 17Fixed for 12 months£883Compare 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.

Why pay more for the same energy?

Find and switch to a better energy deal in minutes