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Electricity and Gas Price Guide: Everything you need to know about kWh

Electricity and Gas Price Guide: What you need to know

What’s in this guide?

Introduction

Regardless of whether you are looking to switch suppliers or whether you want to make some savings on your energy bill, one of the most important things you should do is understand how much energy you’re using, the price of it and which appliances are costing you the most.

Why?

Like with any industry, the more you know about it the more of an educated decision you can make about what would be best for you and your home.

Most importantly, it puts you in control of your finances which helps you to budget for the future and make some serious savings.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what a kWh is, the difference between electricity amounts and what energy saving moves you could make today to save you £££.

What is a kWh?

So what is a kWh?

A kWh or kilowatt-hour is the name of a unit of energy which is used by your energy supplier to calculate your gas and electricity bill.

Typically, this unit can be used to estimate how much energy your household uses on a yearly basis.

One kWh = 1000w.

So when you’re looking at the amount of watts used to power some of your favourite items such as your desktop PC (450W) below, that’s timed by the number of hours you’d use it for which will tell you how many watts you’re using and how this translates into kWh and furthermore, money.

Desktop PC (450w) x 8 hours = 3.6kWh

3.6kWh at 13.86p per kWh = 48.89p

Imagine if you never turned your PC off!

kWh vs KW

So what is the difference between a kWh and a KW?

kWh = kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of energy

KW = Kilowatts (kW) represent a unit of power

A KW tells you how much energy your devices cost, a kWh tells you how much energy you have used.

How many kWh does a household use a year?

Low User (kWh)
Medium User (kWh)
High User (kWh)
Electricity 2000 3100 4600
Gas 8000 12500 18000
Economy 7 2500 4300 7200

What do appliances cost in kWh?

For an average idea of how much appliances cost to run, let’s take a look at an example.

To give an example of how this translates to kWh, if you used a 100W light bulb for 12 hours straight, it would use 1.2 kWh. Which, when using the price claimed by the Energy Saving Trust (13.86p per kWh), would cost less than 20p.

However, using a 4000w clothes dryer for 4 hours would cost just over 50p.

Although this doesn’t look like a big number, combined with every other appliance that is a hefty cost for one appliance.

If you used this appliance twice a week at 50p a go, that would be £48 a year just for drying your clothes.

Average energy costs

Electricity Costs

Supplier Tariff Avg. kWh unit price (ex VAT)
Annual Standing Charge (ex VAT)
Scottish Power Online Fix and Save August 2018 12.376 pence £114.28
Scottish Power Help Beat Cancer Fix and Save August 2019 Online 12.376 pence £142.82
British Gas All Online Mar 2019 12.499 pence £83.15
Sainsbury’s Energy Price Promise March 2019 12.827 pence £87.86
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed 12.978 pence £85.78
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed (all online) 12.978 pence £85.78
Eon E.ON Go Online 1 Year High User v1 13.119 pence £77.93

Gas Costs

Supplier Tariff Avg. kWh unit price (ex VAT)
Annual Standing Charge (ex VAT)
British Gas All Online Mar 2019 2.78 pence £74.57
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed 2.838 pence £85.78
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed (all online) 2.838 pence £85.78
Eon E.ON Go Online 1 Year High User v1 2.839 pence £90.08
EDF Energy Blue+Price Protection Oct18 2.855 pence £91.25
Scottish Power Online Fix and Save August 2018 2.859 pence £114.28
Scottish Power Help Beat Cancer Fix and Save August 2019 Online 2.859 pence £142.82

How does knowing this help me?

Not only does knowing your average kWh costs and consumption help you cut your monthly and yearly energy costs. This is by learning how to save energy, but it also helps you when it comes to switching.

How?

Knowing your average energy usage allows you to get the most accurate quotes available. As energy companies will know almost exactly how much energy you’re using. Also, how much it costs and what bracket that puts you into.

Such as low, medium or high usage.

This could actually mean that you’d get even more of a better deal than if you didn’t know your consumption.

Conclusion

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see reviews of the top 7 energy switching sites to compare gas & electricity.