The amount of energy that a home uses can vary drastically. The energy efficiency of your appliances, the average temperature of your area, and even the day of the week can affect how much energy your household uses. However, it can be good to know the typical energy usage of households in the UK, to give you an idea of how much you will roughly need to pay for your energy, and to make changes to make your home more energy efficient if necessary.
The typical energy usage of a consumer is used by energy suppliers to determine how much they charge for their gas and electricity. As such, knowing how much more or less energy you are using than the average person can help you work out whether you should make changes to use less energy, and therefore save money.
In the past, energy suppliers have sometimes used predictions of the amount of energy used in homes based on past data that they have had, rather than the actual amount, as some older meters are far less reliable than modern ones. However, new generation smart meters allow a much more precise reading of the energy that you are using, and knowing how much you use can allow you to compare energy deals accurately, so that you can budget your spending on bills.
Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, produce Typical Domestic Consumption Values every two years. These use the two most recent years to calculate the amount of energy a typical customer uses, using the median.
The median figure is much more useful than the mean figure, as a broad average can be dramatically skewed by a small number of households which use massive amounts of energy compared to the rest of the population.
Our energy is measured in Kilowatt Hours (kWh), with the average energy usage of British households trending downwards, as appliances and homes become more efficient. The TDCV of a ‘medium’ household (a typically a semi-detached house of 3-4 people) for example, decreased from 3,100kWh to 2,900kWh from 2017 to the most recent data in 2020.
It is difficult to say what an ‘average’ household is. This is because the amount of energy that each home uses varies hugely, from the size of the property, to whether it is an apartment or a detached house, and the number of people living there all affecting the amount that is used.
To get around this problem, Ofgem have created different tiers for electricity users to give a more accurate picture:
There are also two main electricity ‘profile classes’. Most people will fall under Profile 1, but households which have an Economy 7 meter installed will fall under Profile 2. This allows households to use off peak energy to help reduce the cost of their electricity at certain times.
|Electricity Profile 1 Usage Tier||Typical Domestic Consumption Value (kWh)|
|Electricity Profile 2 Usage Tier|
Ofgem apply the same ‘small’, ‘medium’, and ‘large’ categories to gas usage as well as electricity. Households in the UK normally use more gas in kWh than electricity, although it is typically cheaper per unit. This is largely because of the weather, and very few households in the UK use air conditioning as it is rarely hot enough to need it.
|Gas Usage Tier||Typical Domestic Consumption Value (kWh)|
Using this data, we can work out roughly how much a ‘typical’ household would spend a year based on the TDCV numbers. The amount a house spends varies based on the provider and where you live, but here is a rough guide:
|Household Size||Average Electricity pcm||Average Gas Cost pcm||Average Total Energy Cost pcm||Average Energy Cost per year|