Discover what the average UK household pays for its gas and electricity bill and find new ways to reduce your energy spending to beat the norm.
It always pays to know how your utility bills compare to others because when you’re armed with this knowledge you’ll more easily spot if you’re paying over the odds for your energy.
As well as diving into how much the average gas and electricity bill is in the UK, in this post we’ll also look at how energy bills differ in various types of home, trends in our energy consumption, and ways you can lower your energy bills.
Domestic energy usage
The good news is that between 2012-19 our energy usage showed to be slowly but surely falling however, with the pandemic forcing more people to work from home in 2020, it will be interesting to see if this is still the case.
In 2012, the average household used 4,192 kWh of electricity every year, but this fell to 3,753 kWh in 2019. This is a fall of around 0.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent to 782 fewer miles driven in your average car.
And it’s the same story with gas.
In 2012, we used on average 12,660 kWh of gas a year, but this fell by over 650 kWh to 11,993 kWh in 2019. That energy saving could charge around 13,336 smartphones!1
Why are my energy bills going up?
Despite a dip in the cost of the average energy bill between 2015 and 2017, the overall trend is that the price of energy is on the rise, as you’ll see in the graph below.
So why are our gas and electricity bills getting more expensive, if energy use is actually decreasing?
Well, there are a few things at play that explain the UK’s rising cost of energy, such as:
- Wholesale energy prices are increasing, and these costs make up around a third of your bill
- How much it costs to maintain the gas and electricity network is also on the up
- Maintaining your supply is now more expensive, which means your supplier needs to spend more to keep you connected
- Taxes, environmental and social charges add more to the cost of your energy
- The 2021 price cap rise will likely add further to increasing gas and electricity bills for consumers who don’t switch supplier
How do your gas and electricity bills compare with the nation’s average?
Last year, the average UK household spent a grand total of £1,264 on energy; that breaks down to £557 spent on gas and £707 on electricity.2
Of course, this is just an average and will vary because of things like how big your home is, how many people live there, how you use gas and electricity, where you live, and what tariff you’re on.
To help make things a little more relatable, we’ve included the below tables to show how the average energy bills of different households can differ (based on 2020 data).
How you choose to pay for your energy also affects how much your bills are. For example, credit is the most expensive method of payment, costing on average £1,367 a year, £137 more than those who pay by Direct Debit, which is typically the cheapest way to pay.
How to keep your energy costs down
So how can you keep your energy bills down so you can spend your money on more exciting things? Luckily, there’s lots you can do to keep those bills under control, including:
- Turn down your heating – did you know that if everyone in the UK turned their heating down by just 1°, we’d stop 8.8 million tonnes of carbon entering the atmosphere each year?
- Switch to a cheaper supplier (Utility Point has been named one of the UK’s top 5 cheapest energy suppliers by Which?) and you can save on average over £100 a year on your gas and electricity bills.
- Pay by Direct Debit – if you can, paying for your energy by Direct Debit is usually the cheapest option.
- Turning off appliances at the plug can save you around £30 a year!
- Fridge-freezer seen better days? Replacing old and broken appliances with modern, energy efficient ones are well worth the investment. To help you understand which appliances are the most energy efficient, check out our guide to energy labels.
- Another great way to save energy, and potentially hundreds of pounds a year, is to upgrade your old boiler for a shiny new one with a high energy rating.
- Installing a smart meter will help you keep an eye on your energy use so you can learn where you’re able to cut down the most.
- Draft-proof your home by sealing up gaps in doors, letterboxes, skirting boards and unused chimneys, and placing draft excluders along the bottom of doors.
Why not give them a try and see if next year you can beat the national average energy bill!
1 According to the epa.gov greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.