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What is the average gas and electricity bill?

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Home energy bills

Understanding the cost of an energy bill for an average household in the UK can be a useful way of determining whether or not you’re paying over the odds for your gas and electricity. 

Indeed, energy suppliers and some energy comparison sites use average energy consumption figures to calculate the likely cost of an annual energy bill for their customers, using these details to work out the savings available for domestic customers who are looking to switch to a new tariff.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to how much your household might pay for energy, including the region you live in, the tariff you’re on and how you choose to pay for energy. While you may be able to find calculations that focus primarily on these factors, the most commonly-used criteria when projecting an average energy bill are energy consumption and the size of the customer’s home.

Average energy bill based on consumption

An average electricity and gas bill is based on a ‘typical’ household with a medium level of energy consumption over a year. In January 2011, Ofgem published the following typical domestic energy consumption figures:

Average consumption table

The average household on a standard tariff paying by direct debit should expect to pay an average of £424 per year for electricity and £608 per year for gas.

Average energy bill based on house size

The table below shows the average energy bill for customers on a standard energy tariff, organised by house size. These figures assume the customer has never switched, has recently moved house, or has otherwise been automatically moved to the supplier’s standard tariff:

Average spend on standard tariff by property size

While the table above uses suppliers’ standard tariffs and is therefore an example of the most expensive energy bills customers may face, the table below looks at some of the cheaper tariffs available across suppliers:

Average spend on cheaper tariffs by property size

Your household is considered a Small House/Flat if:

  • You use 2,000kWh of electricity and 9,000kWh of gas or less.
  • There are one to two people living at your property.
  • The occupants are employed full time and spend little time at home.
  • The washing machine is used once a week, the heating occasionally and there is no dishwasher or tumble dryer.

Your household is considered a Medium House if:

  • You use 3,200kWh of electricity and 13,500kWh of gas.
  • There are three to four people living at your property (for example, two adults and two children).
  • The occupants are at work or school in the daytime but home in the evening.
  • The washing machine is used a few times a week, the heating is on regularly, the dishwasher is used occasionally and the TV and electrical appliances are used in the evening.

Your household is considered a Large House if:

  • You use 4,900kWh of electricity and 19,000kWh of gas or more.
  • There are four to five – or more – people living at your house.
  • The occupants are regularly at home for evenings and weekends – and maybe all day.
  • The washing machine is used nearly every day, the heating is on regularly, the dishwasher is used regularly, the tumble dryer is used regularly and multiple TVs and electrical appliances are used regularly.

While you can use the figures and circumstances outlined above as a benchmark for your energy consumption, the best energy tariff for your household will ultimately be determined by your specific usage details, household situation, the type and efficiency of the appliances you use and the habits and lifestyle of the people who live in your house.

If your energy bill seems usually high compared with the numbers in the above tables, it’s worth comparing energy tariffs to find out if you can save by switching to a better deal.


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