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As the UK Government strives towards its 2050 no emissions target, community energy schemes and renewable alternatives are at the forefront of solving national fuel poverty – while decarbonising the country’s electricity sources. Working out how much energy you’re using is easy through smart metres and metre readings – but how much electricity should you really be using in your household?
Knowing how to manage your finances in light of the increasing energy tariffs is daunting and confusing, but calculating out how much electricity it really takes to power your home is a good place to start.
There are many factors that can affect your energy charges – from the type of energy source you use, to the level of insulation in your home, the average electricity bill will vary between households right across the UK.
As more and more of us continue to work from home across the country, electricity usage continues to rise as we ditch the commuting expenses and instead pay-out for those copious amounts of tea and coffee consumed in the home-office.
Domestic energy consumption
Electricity consumption in the home can be categorised into low, medium and high annual usage brackets, as created by Ofgem, the energy regulator.
Ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs) are as follows:
- Low consumption is estimated at anything between 1,800kWh and 2,400kWh – one or two bed properties
- Medium consumption – 2,900kWh to 4,200kWh – three to four bed properties
- High consumption is regarded as 4,300kWh to 7,100kW – five bed properties and upwards
Based on these averages, UK Power estimates that the average electricity usage per month in UK households is around 350kWh.
For a two person household…
Whether you’re a first-time buyer unsure of what to expect when you receive your first electricity bill, or you’ve downsized and are hoping for some savings, a two person household can expect to spend around £400 a year on electricity.
The general rule of thumb is that energy usage increases with every extra bedroom in a property.
According to UK Power, a one-to-two bedroom property could expect to pay £34 a month for an average of 2,000kWh of electricity, while a three-to-four bed property would cost the household £49 a month – almost £600 a year on roughly 3,100kWh electricity.
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The true cost of your household appliances
Being aware of how much energy it really takes to power your home is one of the easiest ways to understand where you’re spending the most money – by breaking down the costs you can identify the easiest ways to cut back and save money ahead of a tricky winter.
Fridge-freezers can cost you more than £60 a year, using 427kWh of energy to keep them constantly running.
A higher energy rating will cost you less, so look for A+ as a minimum requirement when replacing your combi fridge-freezer and you could spend just £30 a year – using half the amount of electricity and costing you half as much.
Electric cookers can cost you £47.55 a year, using 317kW of electricity.
Estimates show that a 32” LED TV that is used for 4 hours every day, uses 50kWh/year costing £7.50, while a less-modern LCD flat screen counterpart can cost you almost £30 a year – so upgrade for extra savings in the long term.
The average UK washing machine owner completes almost 300 cycles every year, but your clean clothes could be costing you an average of £25, using around 166kWh/ of energy annually.
Drying your clothes can be almost twice as expensive when using a tumble dryer, costing an average of £59.10 per year based on 150 annual cycles (394kWh per year).
Switch halogen light bulbs for LED to light your home:
- Lighting your home for two hours a day will cost you just £1.35 per year when you use LED bulbs, requiring just 9kWh electricity
- Halogen bulbs will cost you around £4.65 per year more than three times the amount of electricity (31kWh) per year
A cup of tea can cost you an average of £25 per year – boiling your kettle can use 167kWh per year so fill your kettle sparingly to conserve energy.
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