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What Is An Average Household's Electricity Consumption?

All UK households have to pay for energy to keep their homes habitable and the same goes for businesses that need to run their operations. That is why it is so important to understand your energy consumption and manage your energy usage – and save money in the process.

How much electricity you use depends on various factors, such as your home’s size and how energy-efficient your appliances are.

In this guide, Business Energy Comparison will give you all the information you need about the average energy consumption of UK households – including a few tips on how to reduce your average consumption.

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Domestic Energy Usage

How Is Energy Consumption Measured: Understanding Kilowatt Hours

Gas and electricity usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), also known as “units.” One kWh is equal to a thousand watts of energy used per hour.

All appliances use watts to function, even when on standby. Of course, each appliance’s usage depends on its age, size, brand and energy efficiency.

Once you know how much household or business gas and electricity you’re using, you can calculate your bills and decide whether you want to switch to a different supplier.

What Is A Typical Household’s Electricity Usage?

There are certain cost caps on energy prices, like the Energy Price Cap and the additional Energy Price Guarantee, that limit how much you pay per kWh. These caps can be used to calculate the gas and electricity bills for households with an average energy usage falling under low, medium (typical) and high energy use households.

Typical domestic consumption values and bill estimates

Below are the typical values for the average UK household with different energy usages, as well as what the average annual and monthly costs are using rates as of April 2023.

Low Use (Flat, 1-bedroom house/1-2 people)

  • Gas: 8,000 kWh
  • Electricity: 1,800 kWh
  • Average annual cost: £1,723.76
  • Average monthly cost: £143.65

Medium use (3-bedroom house/2-3 people)

  • Gas: 12,000 kWh
  • Electricity: 2,900 kWh
  • Average annual cost: £2,502.26
  • Average monthly cost: £208.52

High use (5-bedroom house/4-5 people)

  • Gas: 17,000 kWh
  • Electricity: 4,300 kWh
  • Average annual cost: £3,483.70
  • Average monthly cost: £290.31

The above numbers were calculated using the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee current rates for a standard variable tariff paying direct debit.

The cost of energy also fluctuates consistently, meaning the values provided above are a current estimate.

Business Energy comparison

Below we will look at the different factors impacting your average electricity usage and how much gas you use at home.

  • Size of your premises: The size of your home (or whether you have a large or small business) is the most significant factor influencing average energy consumption. The more rooms you have, the higher your lighting and heating requirements are, which will require more energy usage.
  • The efficiency of your appliances: We use appliances and devices every day. The fridge, kettle, oven, toaster, laptop, TV, heating and lights all add up. Older devices have higher than average electricity usage than newer, more efficient appliances.
  • Insulation: Insulating your home can go a long way towards reducing your bills. If your home or large business premises are not insulated, you’re looking at a hefty expense.
  • When your home was built: Older homes tend to have higher average energy consumption than newer homes.
  • Number of people on the property: The more people in the household; the higher the average energy consumption.
  • How you live: Your lifestyle is a big factor when it comes to your average consumption. If you are barely home, get takeout meals and read in the evenings, your usage will be lower than if you use your oven every night and eat in front of the television or play games on your desktop.
  • Type of meter: New, smart meters notify your energy supplier of your usage based on your actual gas and electricity consumption. This means you pay for what you use – only what you use. Older meters are less accurate, meaning you might be paying more.
  • Where you live: Your postcode could influence how much you are charged. Different regions have different energy plans and rates offered by energy suppliers.
  • Your boiler: In the grey, wet UK, boilers really push up our average energy consumption to supply warm water and heating, especially in the (greyer and wetter) winter. Older boilers are less efficient and consume a lot more energy.
Design Elements

What Appliances Uses The Most Electricity?

Ever wonder how much appliances add to your energy bill? Below we detail the average electricity consumption of various appliances and how much each costs:

  • Television: A typical smart TV uses 1 kWh for 12 hours of viewing time. This equals around 2p per hour. The daily cost will depend on how much TV you watch.
  • Fridge-freezer: A-rated fridge-freezers are the most efficient, and use around 0.3 kWh a day, which amounts to between 10p a day.
  • Dishwasher: A 1.5-hour cycle uses around 1.2 kWh, which totals between 56p and 79p per day if you use it every day.
  • Electric oven: A single oven can use between 2 and 2.2 kWh for every hour it is on. This totals around £1 for every hour you use it – and the cost also depends on how often you use it. The amount of electricity you use will also depend on whether you have a single or double oven.
  • Lighting and heating: Heating contributes to around 27% of your electricity bills, while lighting contributes another 12%. This sizeable expense is influenced by what heating system you have, and what kind of lightbulbs you use.
  • Tumble dryer: A rented tumble dryer will use around 5.3 kWh per load, working out as around £1.80 per cycle.
  • Other appliances: Your average household electricity consumption also depends on how many other appliances you have. Boiling a kettle daily (for around 10 minutes each day) can cost you £30 a year, while a desktop computer contributes another £15 a year with daily use.

How To Reduce Your Household Energy Bills

It goes without saying that how much electricity and gas you use directly impacts your energy bill. Below are some tips on cutting down your average electricity consumption. You can also approach an energy broker or consultant for advice on how to reduce your average energy bill.

  • Keep the temperature at 19 degrees: In winter this will be warm enough and in summer it will be cool enough. Sticking to this average temperature will significantly reduce how much you spend on heating (and cooling) throughout the year.
  • Unplug appliances: Even in standby mode, your appliances are still contributing to your electricity bill.
  • Use ECO-mode: If your appliances have an eco-friendly setting, switch to this to reduce how much electricity it uses. When buying new appliances, check for those with eco-modes or a high energy-efficient rating.
  • Switch to LEDs and turn off lights: LED lightbulbs use way less electricity than traditional bulbs. Turn off the lights (LED or traditional) when you leave the room.
  • Only boil water you need: Overfilling the kettle wastes a lot of electricity.
  • Air-dry your clothes: As we mentioned, tumble dryers use a lot of energy. Make the most of sunny days and you’ll soon see if this makes a difference to your energy bills.
  • Don’t block radiators: Curtains and furniture close to radiators block the heat and prevent the room from getting warmer, which means you will use more electricity to heat up your home.
  • Insulate: A properly insulated home will require less energy to heat. The Government offers various “Help to Heat” grants to cut down on the cost of insulation.
  • Smart meters: A smart meter can tell you exactly how much electricity you are using, making you much more aware of your consumption.
  • Renewable energy: Using solar panels or heat pumps can cut down your dependence on the national grid.
  • Make sure everyone is helping: Your whole household should be aware of how much energy you are using (and wasting) and work together to reduce consumption.
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Final Thoughts

Determining how much electricity and energy your household uses is crucial if you want to save money. Your home’s size, how efficient your appliances are, and where you live all influence your average energy consumption.

If you are mindful of how you use energy, you will save a lot on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are electricity profile classes for household energy usage?

Your electricity profile class defines what kind of energy user you are. There are nine profiles, although only two relate to domestic households. The other seven refer to business electricity and gas usage.

  • Profile Class 01 – Domestic unrestricted: Most households fall within this profile, which is a low energy usage class. Some home businesses that are energy efficient also fall within this class.
  • Profile Class 02 – Domestic Economy 7: This class covers households with an Economy 7 Meter installed.

How do I know if I am a high energy user?

High energy users usually live in a 4-5 bedroom house, using around 17,000 kWh of gas and 4,600 kWh of electricity.