How do I work out my energy usage?

Energy Usage

What’s in this guide?

Introduction

Regardless of whether you have a bill to hand, you can still compare prices and switch energy supplier.

However, it might give you a better quote if you can understand exactly what your usage is, what affects it and how you can lower yours.

Why?

Because it gives your future energy supplier a better idea of how much of their energy you’ll need across the year.

Plus, knowing how much energy you use means that you can start lowering your costs.

Read on to find out more.

What does energy usage mean?

Energy usage refers to the amount of electricity or gas you use.

Typically, the most useful information concerning your energy usage is how much energy you use in a month, or how much you use in a year.

For your records, knowing your monthly energy use means that you can see not only how much you’re being charged for that amount, but it can help you understand which months you use more or less energy.

Regarding annual usage, this is often what your energy supplier will use to give you an estimated quote.

You can use this number to compare against other suppliers, to see which one is most cost-effective for you.

Using either your bill or an estimation, you can get a quote in mere minutes.

Estimated energy use figures

If you don’t have access to your bill, this is an estimation of your energy usage based on the size of your home.

Low User (kWh)

Medium User (kWh)

High User (kWh)

Electricity 2000 3100 4600
Gas 8000 12500 18000
Economy 7 2500 4300 7200

Low user’ is usually a one bedroom flat with one or two occupants that aren’t at home during the day.

Medium user’ is typically a small family in a semi-detached house, who are at home at various points in the day.

High user’ often means a large family living in a detached three bedroom house, usually with five occupants.

Using your energy bill

To show you how you can use a bill to understand your usage, let’s take a closer look at your EDF bill.

In section 15 and 16 to the left, you can see a period that is approximately a year, in the following columns you can see your meter readings and finally the electricity units used.

This implies that this customer is an average or ‘medium’ user.

You can use this kWh number to get an accurate energy quote, but if you forget the exact numbers you can say you are a ‘medium user’.

Why compare?

So why compare electricity and gas prices instead of switching to the first supplier you see?

Many different suppliers will broadcast the best features of their tariffs, who wouldn’t?

This usually isn’t the whole story.

That’s where comparison websites come in, helping you to compare all of your available options easily and quickly.

How do I compare?

Have you decided that comparing might be a good idea?

Think about what you need most from your supplier, which could be value for money, customer satisfaction or even based on the extra services that they offer, such as the British Gas boiler care.

Next, you need to have some information to hand. This will make it a lot easier to compare electricity and gas tariffs – you will need this information:

  • Your location
  • Annual consumption or spend
  • The size of your home
  • Email
  • Phone number

Finally, you can then use a switching site to compare tariffs and energy suppliers to see which would be best for you.

How can I save money?

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.

Insulation

The single best way to save money on your energy is to have a well-insulated house.

Why?

Having a well-insulated house means that you don’t have to spend as much money on your heating, meaning you could have some real savings on your energy costs.

Turn your heating down

Lowering your heating by even 1 degree could save you up to £60 a year!

Wear warm clothing

If you want to cut down on any costs, you could just wear more jumpers, socks and slippers to avoid the temptation of turning on your heating.

This doesn’t mean you should never use your heating though, as that could be dangerous for your health and things like your pipes and so on.

Turn 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.

Pre-cook your meals

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 amount of energy cooking

For example, if you’re using a large pan to heat a small meal you could be wasting energy unnecessarily.

Heat your home with your dinner

Once you have finished cooking your dinner, why not open your oven and let the heat from inside heat your kitchen?

Unplug costly appliances

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 great savings.

Get free cavity wall insulation

There are some grants and initiatives available that mean that you could be getting cavity insulation for free, which could save you up to £100 a year.

Conclusion

Do you know your energy usage, and you’re looking to switch suppliers?

Did you know that you could be saving up to £500 on your energy bills every year?

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.