Your energy bills: Who is actually charging what?

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An energy bill next to an electricity meter.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would freeze energy prices until 2017 if he becomes Prime Minister. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

While Ed Miliband and the energy companies square up to each other, it's worth knowing how your expensive energy bills are actually made up.

Breakdowns vary a little from company to company, but this detail from Scottish Power gives a flavour.

This graphic shows the breakdown of a typical £100 monthly energy bill this year.
This graphic shows the breakdown of a typical £100 monthly energy bill this year. Credit: Scottish Power

On a £100 pound average energy bill:

  • £50 goes to the cost of energy, the wholesale cost that the energy companies themselves don't control
  • £21 goes to getting the power to your home - these costs, for example the National Grid, are regulated by the authorities and have been increasing significantly
  • £15 goes on green levies, decided by the Government to go to projects like installing insulation for vulnerable customers - this also includes the VAT
  • £10 goes on costs of customer service, metering, call centres and the like
  • £4 goes on profit - and it is out of that amount that cash to spend on new power stations and infrastructure must come