16 Feb How to Benchmark your Electricity Prices (UK)
Have you ever wondered if what you’re paying in your energy bill is correct? We suppose that for many of you the answer is YES, especially those of you working as building tenants or energy managers.
Public Data Sources: OFGEM, Energy UK, NordPool
The Office for Gas and Electricity Markets
This non-ministerial department is an independent National Regulatory Authority. This institution is in charge of applying the EU Directives in the UK for Gas and Electricity.
They do an incredible work towards helping customers to be more aware about:
- Regulation of electricity
- Consumer’s rights
- Contractual facts for homes, but also for businesses
They also offer a good service for public indicators and statistics that is always accessible, and that could be your first source for checking information about electricity consumption in the UK. But these are aggregated figures. Wondering where you can check market prices?
Energy UK is your second source to check. They state on their page, that they are “the voice of UK’s energy”. You will find many interesting reports, and it’s interesting to follow their twitter account to get real-time figures about energy production in the UK.
To get the most from this and other sources, you’ll need to understand how the electricity wholesale market works in the UK. In the UK, electricity is traded between the main companies delivering power to our houses or businesses.
You can use different platforms to trade your energy (buy and sell) depending on your needed date of delivery.
If you trade for short-term delivery (same day or the next day) you use electronic platforms. The platforms work on an auction model, matching offer and demand.
You can also trade energy with future partners. You can buy energy for the next summer (yes!) BUT you should do it with an expert broker. If you’re interested in this model, we encourage you to check the page of London Energy Brokers Association.
APX is one of these “spot” trade platforms, offering great visual dashboards with the results of prices for:
- Indices from the UK electricity auction
This page is extremely recommended because of how easy it is to change from daily to monthly prices in the mentioned dashboard. But also because you can download a lot of free data to go deeper with your benchmark.
The second source of spot prices is NordPool. Covering most of the European electricity markets, you will find here more information than just for the UK. Here’s their table of power prices.
One of their coolest features is this map where you can check the electrical prices of the northern Europe countries.
This system could seem complicated, but the truth is it is working for the UK. Especially for domestic electricity prices, where the UK is always between the 5-7 cheapest countries in the EU:
Here is a situation a bit different when it comes to the industrial market:
This shows a probable impact from the huge power of the industrial sector in the UK, which is a high demanding industry. With this prices indicator, one should think seriously about how to be more efficient.
Check more reports on the page of Department of Energy & Climate Change, which is the source of these graphs.
SMEs & Home Consumers Benchmarking
There are some easier tools online that can allow you to get a better idea of how fair the price you’ll pay is. And additionally if it’s even worthy to change to a different electrical company.
UK power is a simple tool that you can use for your home or business. You don’t need to have your electrical bill in front of you (but the accuracy of the result will decrease, of course).
You just need to add some simple data and the tool will give back a list of companies delivering electricity to your area with an estimated amount of savings
It’s fast and easy to use, but it may not be detailed enough for bigger companies. UKPower is approved by the OFGEM.
This is a benchmarking tool that, at a first sight, seems much more complete than the previous one. Here, you can benchmark other services (like your telephone bills).
And after following the information process, they offer much more results than UK Power:
Tip: you will increase the accuracy of the results if you have your last bill in front of you!
Another page OFGEM approved, works exactly like the two previous ones. But they have an interesting UX advantage: you can add filters after you get your results.
For example, that’s how I found out that if I would like to be greener, I will save much less money in my bills…
What can I do with this Information?
Even though there are many sources of the official prices and many tools online to benchmark your electricity bill, there are still questions unsolved: am I paying a fair price according to my industry? how high or low is my savings potential?
These questions are important for any business manager, and important indeed for energy managers.
With a bit of manual work with this data you’ll be able to be in a better position to make a decision about your bills. However what if we said that we are working on a tool that will answer all your questions, at the same time?
We will introduce it next March 17th in an online webinar, limited to 100 spots. If you attend, you will be one of the first to see it, and one of the first to try this innovative secret weapon that will forever change the concept of benchmarking energy costs.