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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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
Your household is considered a Small House/Flat if:
Your household is considered a Medium House if:
Your household is considered a Large House if:
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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