It is very easy to stare at your energy bills and have your eyes glaze over. What exactly is normal consumption for a home? What is the average cost for your energy bills? I have had so many people ask me this when looking at their bills – the problem is that most of us only ever see our own bill, so it is hard to get an idea of whether your home is less or more efficient than the average.
Ofgem revised their figures just a few years ago, and they give a median usage figure of 16,500kWh for gas and 3,300kWh of electricity. This can be a little misleading however, as some homes are heated by electricity and some by gas, and
|Average||16,500kWh (£608)^||3,300kWh (£424)^|
|Economy 7 Property||N/A||5,000kWh^|
|Small House / Flat||9,000kWh*||2,000kWh*|
*UK Power 2014 http://www.ukpower.co.uk/home_energy/average-energy-bill
What about occupancy?
These figures are purely averages based on the size of house. Of course, some homes can be the same size but with wildly different types of occupancy. Which? have done an analysis of this and group people into low, medium and high energy users and you need to take into account things like:
- The number of people at the property.
- The type of person living at the property: pensioners, children, full time workers etc.
- Whether the past year has been warmer or colder than average.
- Do you have any unusual energy sapping items, like swimming pools or aquariums.
- What is the energy rating of the property – is it well insulated and how old is the heating system?
Is energy usage decreasing?
You might think that with the cost of energy rising, and more efficient forms of heating and lighting, prices are likely to decrease over time. With gas this is certainly the case; more efficient boilers are cutting gas use combined with the rising cost of a unit making people think again before turning the heating on. With electricity however, despite the improvements in efficiency, usage is staying about the same – this is likely because of the increasing number of gadgets and electrical appliances we are using compared with the past. This is offsetting any improvements in efficiency.
So is my property efficient?
It is a little more tricky than it sounds, but you need to weigh up the size of your property, the occupancy of your property and its energy rating, against the number of units you are using. This should give you some idea of where you stand.
If you would like to get an even better idea of how your usage stacks up, you can get yourself a Green Deal Assessment. Our assessors will look at your usage and let you know whether you are consuming too much, and what you can do to reduce it, and whether you should switch to a different tariff.
Think we missed something? Do you have a different opinion?
Comment below to get your voice heard…