What’s in this guide?
To be able to take control over your energy, you have got to do one significant thing first; understand your average gas usage per month.
This might not be something that is at the top of your priorities, but with the steady price increase of energy and the projection that it will increase by a further 30% to 40% in the next five years alone, it might be time to take a look at your deal.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about your bills, how to estimate an energy bill including what affects them and how you could make some savings.
Let’s dig in.
What affects your bills?
Many things affect your bills, but here are a few:
✔ Size of your home
✔ Amount of people who live there
✔ The age of those people
✔ How insulated your home is
✔ When it was built
✔ What kind of light bulbs you use
✔ The type of tariff you are on
✔ How long you have been with your supplier
Let’s break some of that down.
Size of your home
A one bedroom flat might cost only £60 a month, whereas a large 5-bedroom house may be more like £150 a month, depending on how many people live there – that’s a big difference.
How insulated your home is
Often cited as the number one problem when it comes to heating.
Many old houses have a space between walls called a cavity, and if you don’t fill it, it can cause you problems regarding efficient heating.
The kind of tariff you are on
Did you know that standard variable tariffs, often called the default tariff, are usually the most expensive in the market?
You could be losing out on £100s every year by not switching to a fixed rate tariff. Yes, really.
How long you have been with your supplier
Did you know that up to 60% of people have never switched energy supplier?
Loyalty doesn’t pay off when it comes to your tariffs, and chances are if you haven’t switched in a while (or ever) you could be severely overpaying.
According to data, the price of energy had increased by over 140% between 2004 and 2014, and unfortunately, that number has only really risen in the last few years – although there was a temporary dip in 2016.
While it’s true that prices can rise and fall with the market, many different predictions state that energy prices are going to increase by 30% to 40% in the next five years.
After many of the price hikes by big and small energy suppliers in 2018, some customers are starting to ask some essential questions.
Am I getting the best deal? Can I take control of my energy?
Luckily, technology is starting to catch up with our ideas, so now you can not only compare energy suppliers with handy comparison tools, but you can also benefit from things such as smart meters and thermostats.
These devices allow you to break down your energy consumption and see where your money is going.
That way you can make more informed decisions about not only your supplier but also the way you want to heat or light your home.
What’s the average electricity bill a month?
According to UK Power, the average home in the UK currently has an electricity bill of around £49 per month, or £590 a year.
This is average consumption, which considers you have a three-bedroom home.
While that number may not seem too high, keep in mind that you also have to add your gas as well.
What’s the average gas bill a month?
The average monthly gas bill is approximately around £48 monthly, or annually it is around £572.
Again the numbers depend highly on the size of your home, which is why if you have a two bedroom flat, your average gas bill will be £33 per month, or £392 a year.
Bigger houses that typically have four or more bedrooms in the house have monthly bills that are approximately £66, or £739 a year
That means that if you have a larger house, you would expect a bill of around £1,311 annually.
Which kind of user are you?
So now that you know what kind of bills you can expect and what can affect the price of your energy, now let’s take a look at what kind of user you might be and how this helps you compare.
The three different types of user are low, medium and high – this is down to how much energy you use, so Ofgem has some facts and figures you help you work out which one you are.
According to Ofgem:
‘Low user‘ consumes 1,650 kWh of electricity and 10,000 kWh of gas a year
‘Medium user‘ consumes 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas
‘High user’ consumes 4,950 kWh of electricity and 28,000 kWh of gas
Typically, a low user household will be a single person or perhaps a professional couple living in a one-bedroom flat.
A medium use household will be a small family living in a semi-detached house.
A high use household tends to be a larger family living in a detached house with three or more bedrooms.
How can I lower my bills?
If you’re looking at discounts or cash sums for your energy over winter, there are some other ways you can save some money.
Even if it’s saving a few pennies, they can add up and end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
The single best way to save money on your energy is to have a well-insulated house.
Having a well-insulated house means merely that you don’t have to heat your home as much, saying you could have some real savings on your costs.
Turn your thermostat down.
There is even some evidence to suggest that keeping your heating on at a lower level constantly could be cheaper than occasionally blasting your heating on for heat then switching it off.
You could wear more jumpers, socks and slippers to avoid the temptation of turning on your heating.
But you should still use your heating during winter, as your pipes could freeze and burst, plus it might not be good for your health.
Turn your shower pressure down.
If you have a powerful shower, this can be a fantastic luxury. But, it could be costing you a lot and turning it down could save you some money.
As you can’t choose which shelves to heat in your oven, you could utilise all of the energy you’re using with it being on and pre-cook some meals for the week.
Use the right part of your hob.
Making sure that you use the right amount of energy to cook is essential, as it could save you essential pounds and pence.
Heat your home with cooking.
Why not open your oven once you have finished cooking and let the heat from inside warm your kitchen?
Did you know that some gadgets and appliances still use energy when they aren’t even turned on?
Unplugging your devices such as your TV, phone chargers and computer could give you some significant savings.
Get free cavity wall insulation.
There are some grants and initiatives available that mean that you could be getting free cavity insulation.
Did you know that you could be saving up to £500 on your energy bills every year?