How Much is the Average Electricity Bill in the UK?
If you’ve recently received your energy bill and want to know if it’s higher than the national average, then read on to see if you’re being charged more than you should.
If you go onto any comparison website, you’ll probably notice that there are quotes for the average electricity bill for each household around the UK. This is derived from set figures that the energy regulator Ofgem have provided for all electric suppliers to use.
It’s fairly basic in its measure and is as follows:
- Average electricity usage of 3,300 kWh for standard single rate electricity that’s averaged across all regions.
- Average gas usage of 16,500 kWh per household.
Averages By Property Type
The Ofgem figures above are averages for all properties in all regions of the UK which vary depending on the size of house or flat you live in.
Your own consumption may change according to the type and efficiency of the appliances you use, and the size of rooms you heat and light.
|Property Type||Electric Usage||Gas Usage||Monthly||Yearly|
|1 bedroom flat||2,000 kWh||0 kWh||£26.50||£318.00|
|2 bedroom flat||2,000 kWh||8,000 kWh||£59.03||£708.40|
|2 bedroom House||3,000 kWh||12,000 kWh||£88.55||£1,062.60|
|3 bedroom House||4,750 kWh||17,400 kWh||£133.69||£1,604.37|
|4 bedroom House||6,000 kWh||22,600 kWh||£171.40||£2,056.88|
|Micro Business||5,000 kWh||4,500 kWh||£89.43||£1,073.15|
|Small Business||16,000 kWh||8,600 kWh||£203.60||£2,443.25|
|Medium Business||35,000 kWh||12,400 kWh||£392.34||£4,708.05|
Data per month and annually for residential properties is calculated at 15.9p/kWh for electricity and 4.88p/kWh for gas. Business electricity prices are calculated at 11.3p/kWh for electricity and 3.1p/kWh for gas with a daily standing charge of 30p and 71p respectively. VAT is excluded which is added at 5% for domestic users and 20% for commercial customers.
Most companies will then quote prices for paying by monthly direct debit which generally lowers the charges. Current rates for a British Gas standard tariff works out to be a yearly bill of around £1,207. Some providers are now including their various discounts within the unit rates to make comparisons easier and fairer.
What if your Electricity Bill is Higher Than This?
The average annual electricity bill worked out on the above numbers for a British Gas standard tariff equates to £504 per year. Other suppliers may charge more or less than this figure. The prices quoted always seem cheaper than the bills we receive because these are averaged across all properties, from studio apartments to large dwellings.
Most people in a 3 or 4 bedroom regular house would probably pay around £40-£60 per month and if you are in a 1 or 2 bedroom flat you should be paying a lot less.
However, there are areas in which these figures can be higher. If you’ve just received a higher than average bill, here are possible reasons as to why, and how to sort it out.
- You are on a standard tariff and have never switched. If you are on a standard tariff from any of the main electricity suppliers then you are paying too much. This is always the most expensive tariff for non pre-payment meters. There are easy ways to switch from your current provider and if you pay by direct debit you should see savings of between 10-20% per year.
- You have been on estimated bills for more than one quarter. One of the problems in this country is estimated bills which tend to be on the conservative side. Then, all of a sudden someone comes to read your meter and the real readings are calculated providing a large debit balance. It’s always best to check the readings on your bill, or actually provide your provider with the readings so you don’t get a nasty shock.
- Most of the electric providers allow you to submit meter readings online, and British Gas has their energy smart programme which ties all this together. If you have been on low estimated bills for many months, your electric company will then want to increase your monthly direct debit to make up the deficit.
- During the winter months, demand increases so bills will be higher. Your monthly direct debit should not increase during this period.
- You have electric heating which can be expensive to run. Manage how you use this and see if you can benefit from the lower priced economy 7 tariffs.
- You use an immersion tank and heating too often. This traditional method is one of the most expensive ways to heat water. If you have a gas heating system try to use this first and avoid using the immersion heating. This is like boiling an electric kettle and is not energy efficient at all.
- You overuse power and should think about efficiency measures. Although more of us are aware of wasting energy, it’s all too easy to leave lights on, not having energy saving lightbulbs installed or simply not thinking about what is switched on in your home. Simple changes in your lifestyle can save a ton of energy during the year.
The best thing is not to worry, but if you find your bill has increased to an amount you are not comfortable with, or you have trouble paying it, then contact your energy supplier immediately. They can discuss ways to help with your payments and usage and hopefully put things right.
Average Business Electricity Bills
Do businesses pay more or less for their electricity than residential customers? For the basic cost of electricity the answer is that they pay the same. Business do have other costs to bear as Jason Smith of Business Electricity Prices explains “the basic unit cost per kWh and daily standing charges are broadly the same of homes and businesses. Commercial customers however have a raft of government levies to sustain renewable energy initiatives. They also pay VAT at 20% rather than 5%.”
The average electricity bill for a household in the UK is only set to increase over the coming years. Therefore, ensure you find the cheapest electric supplier and try to save what energy you are using on a daily basis.