What is an energy tariff?
An energy tariff sets how much you have to pay for each unit of gas and electricity you use.
An energy tariff sets how much you have to pay for your standing charge.
The standing charge is a charge you have to pay every day for your gas or electricity.
You have to pay a standing charge every day even if you do not use gas or electricity every day.
A standing charge can also be called a daily rate or a daily unit rate.
Each tariff has a name.
The name of your tariff should be on your gas or electricity bill.
To find out what other information will be on your energy bill, go to our How to understand your energy bill page.
Most energy providers have a variable tariff and a fixed-rate tariff.
A fixed rate tariff with 1 energy provider might cost more then a fixed rate tariff with a different energy provider.
If you are on a variable tariff, the price you pay for each unit of gas or electricity and your standing charge can go up or down at any time.
If your energy provider is going to change the price of your gas or electricity or your standing charge, they have to tell you 30 days before they do it.
On some tariffs you have to sign a contract to promise that you will stay on the tariff for a fixed time.
You do not have to promise to stay on a variable tariff for a fixed time.
You do not have to pay some extra money if you want to change to a different tariff.
Gas and electricity used to cost a lot of money on a variable tariff.
A variable tariff might be the cheapest way to pay for your gas or electricity now.
If you are on a fixed-rate tariff, you pay the same amount of money for each unit of gas or electricity and your standing charge until the tariff end date.
The tariff end date is the date that your contract ends.
If you want to change to a different tariff before your contract ends, you might have to pay some extra money.
You do not have to pay any extra money to change to a different tariff or a different energy supplier if your contract is going to end in 49 days or less.
If you are on a fixed-rate tariff, you know how much you are going to pay for each unit of gas or electricity and your standing charge until the tariff end date.
A fixed-rate tariff does not stop your bill going up.
If you use more gas or electricity, you will pay more for your bills.
Information to know
During the cost of living crisis, energy providers had fixed-rate tariffs where you pay a lot of money for each unit of gas or electricity.
If you choose a fixed-rate tariff, you will pay the same amount of money for each unit of gas or electricity for 1 or 2 years.
Lots of people think that gas and electricity will get cheaper.
You should only choose a fixed-rate tariff if each unit of gas or electricity costs about the same as the energy price cap or the energy price guarantee.
The energy price cap and the energy price guarantee limit how much suppliers can charge you for each unit of electricity or gas and your standing charge.
For more information about the energy price cap and the energy price guarantee, go to our energy price cap page.
How to get help
You can get help and advice on our
A website is a page you can go to on the internet like Google or YouTube.
If you are worried about money, contact our Learning Disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. Helpline:
Call us Monday to Friday on 0808 808 1111
Thank you to British Gas Energy Trust for funding.