The amount you pay for your electricity depends on a number of factors, including the energy provider you choose, the type of tariff you’re on, and how you use your electricity.
Electricity is charged for on a per unit basis – each unit is a kilowatt hour (kWh). The cost per kWh you pay will depend on your energy provider. Additionally, your provider might enforce what’s known as a ‘standing charge’. This is a sum that’s charged each day, regardless of how much electricity you use, for operating costs associated with the supply of electricity.
Some tariffs might offer a variable cost per kWh, such as the Economy 7 tariff. This is where you pay a different price for electricity at different times of the day, and it’s generally cheaper at night.
The price per kWh of electricity can go up and down, unless you're on a fixed rate tariff. This doesn’t mean you can use as much electricity as you like and pay a set fee, but instead that you pay a fixed price per kWh for the duration of your tariff, regardless of market fluctuations.
Regardless of how much you pay per kWh of electricity, many people find they pay more than they should, simply because of wasted energy. For example, an energy-saving light bulb and a regular light bulb both do the same job, but the energy-saving bulb uses much less electricity energy, so it costs less to run. Similarly, most people don’t mind paying for electricity to run their TV or computer, but if these appliances are left in standby mode they’re still costing money, even when they’re not being used. Making simple changes around the house, such as turning lights off when they’re not being used and turning appliances off at the wall, can make a big difference to your electricity bills.