VAT on energy costs


Value Added Tax (VAT) is a crucial aspect of the UK tax system, applicable to the sale of goods and services. When it comes to energy, VAT rates differ between domestic and non-domestic usage. While domestic energy bills enjoy a reduced VAT rate of 5%, non-domestic energy bills incur the standard rate of 20%. This means businesses face higher VAT charges on their energy bills compared to residential customers. However, certain exemptions and reductions are available, offering potential relief for eligible businesses. In this guide, we will explore the implications of VAT on energy bills in the UK, as well as highlight strategies for reducing VAT expenses.

Understanding VAT and Energy in the UK

VAT plays a significant role in energy billing, and it’s essential to understand the distinctions:

  1. Domestic Energy Bills: Residential customers benefit from a reduced VAT rate of 5% on their gas and electricity bills when used for domestic purposes.
  2. Non-Domestic Energy Bills: Non-domestic usage, including commercial and industrial applications, is subject to the standard VAT rate of 20% on energy bills.

Exemptions and Reductions

Businesses have opportunities to minimise their VAT expenses through specific exemptions and reductions:

  1. Climate Change Levy (CCL) Discount: Eligible businesses with high energy consumption can apply for a discount on the Climate Change Levy (CCL). This discount helps lower the overall VAT amount paid on energy bills.


Understanding the impact of VAT on energy bills is crucial for businesses in the UK. While non-domestic usage incurs the standard VAT rate of 20%, residential customers benefit from a reduced rate of 5% on their domestic energy bills. However, businesses can explore exemptions and reductions, such as the Climate Change Levy (CCL) discount, to mitigate their VAT expenses. By staying informed about available options, businesses can effectively manage their VAT obligations and optimize energy costs. To maximise savings, consult with tax professionals and energy advisors who can provide personalised guidance based on your specific business needs.