What are standing charges?

Standing charges are present on virtually every gas and electric bill. Not everybody understands what they are, or why they are there, so in this article, we are going to run through standing charges in depth so you have a full understanding of their function, and what scenario you may be best not having a standing charge on your energy bills.

What is a standing charge?

Essentially, a standing charge is a small fee that your gas or electricity provider will bill you even on the days that you do not use any energy. They will stay the same no matter how much or how little energy you use. These will appear on your bill as units of daily usage with a specific price against it depending on the provider you have. Most companies will bill you a standing charge, but there are plans out there that will charge you $0. ‘Standing charge’ will still be listed on your bill, you just will not have a payable number next to it. These types of plans may not be suitable for everybody, so the best way to check whether it would work for you would be to use a price comparison website. There may also be multiple plans within the same company that you could switch to, it is just a case of inquiring and researching further.

Am I better off finding a plan with no standing charges?

It is completely dependent on your living situation and how much time you spend in the property. If you find that you travel a lot, so rarely use the heating, electricity and air conditioning, then you may be better off switching to a plan that has no standing charges, as you can save a significant amount avoiding charges against energy that you do not use. If you are living in a property with multiple occupants and you find yourself spending a lot of time in the home throughout the year, then going for a plan with no standing charges would end up costing you more based on the volume of energy that you are using.

How can I check what kind of plan is best for me?

We recommend using a price comparison website, as this is a quick way of finding out in a number of minutes what kinds of plans are on the market, and as long as you have accurate data on what amount of energy you are using and who your current provider is, then it can be a really easy process to switch. If you are in a position where you are not sure what else is on the market and do not want to use a price comparison website straight away, you can always call up your current provider to find out what options there are within other plans that they have on the market. Please note, that standing charges are common and you should not be alarmed by these on your bill. The time when you should consider looking at a plan without standing charges is if your living situation changes dramatically.


Author: Claire Stapley
Claire Stapley is ElectricityComparison.com.au's Energy Editor, based in Melbourne Australia. Claire is a founding member of ElectricityComparison.com.au News and Energy Team.