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UK Historical Electricity Pricing Trends & Insights

Over the past decade, businesses of all sizes have seen the unit price of electricity increase regularly. Added charges including government levies and other network costs have also contributed to raising cost of business electricity.

These increases make it more important than ever to compare business electricity prices. Businesses can make real savings by switching energy supplier, particularly if it’s been a while since you last compared prices.

In 60 seconds, you can compare business electricity prices and select the tariff that’s right for your company.

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The Price of Business Electricity in the UK

Here, we’ve analysed data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to show how fast electricity rates paid have increased and the current average business electricity prices.

The BEIS survey started recording data in 2004 and is collected and reported on a quarterly basis from eight gas and six business electricity suppliers in the UK. The survey receives a 100% response and is understood to represent 60% of the Industrial and Commercial (I & C) electricity sales market. The data collected is also a requirement under Regulation (EU) 2016/1952 from Eurostat.

Commercial Electricity Prices 2011 – 2021 (per kWh)

The average price paid excluding VAT for each size of business.

Year Micro Small Medium Large V.Large X.Large Largest
2011 12.10p 10.20p 8.79p 7.91p 7.39p 7.17p 7.05p
2012 12.58p 10.74p 9.47p 8.59p 8.38p 7.94p 8.10p
2013 12.99p 11.28p 10.03p 9.17p 9.14p 8.93p 8.54p
2014 13.82p 11.85p 10.59p 9.62p 9.56p 9.29p 9.04p
2015 13.38p 12.22p 10.92p 10.04p 9.78p 9.54p 9.24p
2016 12.75p 12.08p 10.86p 10.01p 9.83p 9.66p 9.35p
2017 14.00p 12.60p 11.00p 10.49p 10.44p 10.24p 9.21p
2018 15.48p 13.72p 12.19p 11.53p 10.85p 10.37p 9.88p
2019 16.71p 14.89p 13.51p 12.56p 11.86p 11.34p 11.39p
2020 16.93p 15.10p 13.91p 12.49p 11.76p 10.85p 10.73p
2021 17.41p 15.83p 14.89p 13.82p 13.80p 12.95p 14.15p

The price shown includes Climate Change Levy (CCL) but excludes VAT. Source: BEIS statistical data

How Have Business Electricity Prices Changed in the last 10 Years?

Reviewing the data above shows that since 20011, all businesses experienced price rises, but these vary depending on the annual consumption of energy.

  • Microbusinesses using less than 20 Mwh (20,000 kWh) saw an average price rise of 43%.
  • Medium sized businesses saw their average electricity unit price increase by 69%.
  • Large industrial consumers of electricity saw significant increases over ten years with an 74% hike.

How Do I Know Which Size Band my Business is in?

The size-bands for the tables above have the following annual consumption definitions:

  • Micro: 0-20 MWh
  • Small: 20-499 MWh
  • Medium: 500-1,999 MWh
  • Large: 2,000-19,999 MWh
  • Very Large: 20,000-69,999 MWh
  • Extra Large: 70,000-149,999 MWh
  • Largest: Above 150,000 MWh

What affects the cost of business electricity?

There are several factors which affect the cost of business electricity. One of the most important contributors is wholesale electricity costs. As wholesale prices increases, suppliers will pass these costs onto their unit prices.

World events which impact the supply of gas and electricity will result in changes to the wholesale energy costs. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic saw demand decrease as business closed down for much of 2020. This led to a brief reduction in wholesale energy costs.

Other factors which can affect your business electricity prices include:

  • Your business type
  • If you use both gas and electricity
  • The region your business is located
  • The length of your energy contract

How can I reduce my business electricity prices?

It’s important to remember that these average prices are far from the best deals available. If you’re business electricity prices are close to or above these averages, you will likely make real savings by switching suppliers.

With Business Electricity Prices, you can compare the latest prices from a wide range of energy suppliers quickly and easily. Our expert team will be on hand to take care of the switching process on your behalf to help you find the right tariff for your business needs.

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