What are wholesale energy prices?

Wholesale energy prices represent the initial cost of electricity or natural gas at the point of production before it reaches consumers. These prices are determined in the wholesale energy market, where energy suppliers and producers engage in large-scale buying and selling.

Key factors that influence the cost

Several key factors influence wholesale energy prices:

  1. Supply and demand dynamics: When energy demand is high and supply is limited, prices rise. Conversely, surplus supply and lower demand lead to price decreases.
  2. Fuel prices: Changes in the prices of energy sources like natural gas, commonly used for electricity generation, impact wholesale prices.
  3. Weather conditions: Extreme weather events influence energy demand and affect prices accordingly.
  4. Government policies: Policies and regulations, especially those related to renewable energy sources, can influence wholesale prices through subsidies and incentives.
  5. Market competition: Higher competition can lead to lower prices, while reduced competition may result in higher prices.

Aside from wholesale prices, other costs contribute to the total energy bill for consumers. These include government levies and network/distribution costs. Government levies often increase to promote energy conservation, while network costs are expected to rise in the future to recover losses incurred during the 2020 lockdown.

Starting from April 2022, the method for recovering network costs from end-users will undergo a transformation through the Targeted Charging Review (TCR). As a result, some customers may experience cost reductions, while others may face price hikes.


In conclusion, wholesale energy prices significantly impact overall energy costs and the rates offered by retail energy providers to consumers. They make up approximately half of the total price paid by customers, with the rest attributed to network costs and government levies. Unfortunately, these expenses are expected to rise, especially concerning electricity.


Date: 5th August 2023

Energy Wholesale Market Report:

During June, UK Wholesale energy prices rose slightly due to a prolonged maintenance period at the Norwegian gas plant and a shortage of LNG (liquefied natural gas) imports. However, the Norwegian maintenance has been completed now, and prices have stopped climbing, showing signs of returning to a slow downward trend.

The weather forecast for the rest of July predicts temperatures to remain below the seasonal average, leading to slightly higher demand and keeping prices up. On the bright side, the unsettled weather is expected to boost wind generation, helping to balance out the increased demand and stabilise prices. Additionally, the first week of August is expected to see a rise in temperatures above the seasonal average, which should contribute to a reduction in energy prices.

LNG imports continue to be low, as there are reports of delays in shipments due to maintenance at a key facility. In response to this, oil prices have increased after Saudi Arabia announced the extension of planned production cuts until December 24.

Overall, we anticipate a period of relatively stable prices in the coming weeks, unless any unexpected events occur. However, the possibility of prices moving down depends on achieving improved LNG imports. Any progress in this area could lead to a decline in energy prices.

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