What costs make up your gas and electricity bill?

Here we explain:

  • What costs make up your electricity and gas bills
  • Why energy prices change
  • Which products and services we're offering to help keep bills down


Understanding what costs make up your energy bills

We'll explain what costs make up your bill and what can impact these. 

The story of your energy: from generation to your bill

It's easy to forget all the different processes and activities it takes to get the energy to your home and then how they're covered in your bill

1. Energy companies produce electricity and extract gas

2. Prices for energy on the wholesale market can go up or down, depending on global supply and demand

3. We can't control wholesale electricity and gas prices, but offer customers a range of tariffs with fixed or variable prices


4. We add the extra costs that all of the major energy suppliers face, including.....

Supporting government initiatives …

… including obligations like smart meters…

… as well as our support for vulnerable customers and customer services

5. We power your home

What do energy bills include?

Wholesale costs make up the largest part of your energy bill. Other costs include network, policy and operating costs – these help us maintain the network and contribute towards a net zero future by supporting government low carbon initiatives. These pie charts show the current breakdown.

What costs make up your electricity bill

What costs make up your gas bill

Wholesale costs

Our gas and electricity costs are determined by the prices on the wholesale markets in the UK, which in turn reflect global commodity markets. As with things like petrol, the cost of energy goes up and down with global availability and demand.


Network costs

We don't own the electricity wires or gas pipes the energy flows through so we have to pay the companies that do. This money goes towards maintaining, running and upgrading the networks.


Policy costs

As Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity(1), we've never been busier helping cut UK carbon emissions to nothing. We also support the government in funding renewable energy and helping vulnerable customers. Our efforts to be a more sustainable and responsible energy supplier have been recognised by a wide range of organisations.


Operating costs

These costs cover running our call centres, sending your bills and reading your meters. We’re always looking for new ways to keep these costs as low as possible. For example, MyAccount and our mobile app which lets you view and pay bills, send us meter readings or amend your Direct Debit details – all online.



This is set by the UK government at 5% on all home energy bills. It’s much lower than the standard 20% which you pay for items in a shop, for example. 

Why are energy prices rising at the moment?

Wholesale prices

Wholesale energy costs make up between 40 – 60% of your energy bill and changes in the costs tend to be the main reason for energy prices going up or down.

Unfortunately, the wholesale cost of energy has gone up more than 50% in the last six months. That’s why Ofgem are raising the energy price cap by 12% from 1st October.

While we hate having to put prices up, sometimes this is also necessary. In 2020 we cut Standard Variable Tariff customers' prices by an average of £100 a year.(2)

So why are wholesale prices going up?

  • As we recover from Covid 19, demand for energy especially from businesses has gone up, driving up the price
  • The last winter was colder than average in Europe and Asia, which increased the global demand for gas and reduced global gas reserves
  • Rises in gas wholesale prices have a knock-on impact on electricity costs too due to the impact on the cost of gas-fired electricity generation


Green levies and other taxes

Increases in bills can also be because of higher taxes and levies imposed by the government on energy companies

Investment in the National Grid

Bills need to cover repairs, replacements and upgrades to the National Grid. This is similar to the way rail tickets help to fund upgrades to our railway infrastructure.

Take control of your energy and cut costs in 4 ways

  • Pay a different way: Our customers save around £80(3) a year when they pay by Direct Debit, a simple and easy way to pay. Paying by Direct Debit reduces our administration costs. We can then pass these savings onto our customers. Log into MyAccount now or register to change your payments to Direct Debit. It only takes a few minutes.
  • Get smart: We've installed more than 2 million smart meters around the UK. Helping customers see exactly how much they spend.
    Smart meters show your energy use in real-time and can help you lower your usage and bills. Only EDF smart meter customers get free access to our unique Energy Hub service. Nearly 1/3 of our Hub users say it's helped them to reduce their energy use.

    "Seeing smart meter readings has given me an understanding of the need to save energy and money. Very pleased to have had it fitted. Thank you" (EDF customer Robert from Crewe)

    We're ready to install your smart meter. Book a smart meter installation.

  • Save at home: things like cavity wall insulation could save you up to £255 a year(4), depending on your home. Smart heating controls and turning appliances off at the wall could save you up to £105 a year(5)
  • Look around: we hope you stick with us, but you can switch to another supplier. We’ll welcome you back any time though – we're proud that we see around 39k(6) switch back to EDF during their first year of departure from us. 
    Existing customers can find their best deal in MyAccount. New to EDF? Check out our range of tariffs. Our 3-year fixed tariff offers peace of mind with no price rises until 2024.

We're proud to offer our customers

Zero Carbon icon

Zero Carbon

Britain's biggest generator of zero carbon electricity(1)

Zero extra cost icon

Zero Extra Cost

Zero carbon electricity at zero extra cost(7)

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Zero Hassle

Winner of 7 service awards from Uswitch

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Great Value

Named Best Value Large Supplier by Uswitch 2021