Ever wondered how your annual bills fare against the national average? In order to compare what you spend with others, it’s useful to know the average energy bill in the UK. For 2019 (the last year with complete data) the average UK spend was £1,289, with £679 for electricity and £610 for gas. However, as we shall see, averages can be complicated and if your energy spend is way above or below these figures, there might be a very simple explanation. This could be the size of your house, age of the property or any efforts you have made to insulate or reduce consumption.
Last update: April 2022
As you may have heard on the news, the UK energy market is currently under an immense amount of stress as a result of a global gas shortage driving up costs and putting several energy suppliers out of business. To learn more about this and stay updated on a daily basis you can read our page on the UK energy crisis.
We will also try to look more closely at the numbers for different house sizes, and at how you can bring down your energy bills to be more in line with the average energy bill in the UK. An option to consider is to compare energy prices and switch providers with our free service.
What is the average UK household energy bill?
The average UK household energy bill can be calculated in a number of ways. It could be the mean energy payment, which is the total spend on energy by UK homeowners divided by the number of properties connected. Or it could be the median amount that the majority of UK homeowners pay.
Averages can be complicated and misleading. So, while they can be useful for working out if you are paying too much or too little for your energy, you should also be aware of how these averages were worked out.
It is also true that averages are, by definition, applied across the board, with no consideration for factors such as house size, location or others. That’s why it’s important to drill down into the average price statistics, as we will try to do in this guide.
How much is the average energy bill in the UK?
The average combined energy bill, for both gas and electricity, in the UK in 2019 was £1,289 according to supplier OVO Energy. The averages were £679 for electricity and £610 for gas.
We tend to use much more gas than we do electricity, as it usually runs central heating and hot water, but electricity costs more per kWh unit (gas is around 3.5p and electricity around 12p). That’s why both averages are more or less the same.
This was a 6% increase on the annual electricity bill and around 2.8% for gas from 2018. The previous year, bills had crept up by an average of £41, a 3% rise on average, with a similar jump expected from 2019 to 2020. Energy is expected to creep up in increments of about 3% per year until 2030, when it is hoped that prices will come back down (more on this below).
However, these rises in prices come with a general downturn in energy consumption due to warmer winters, better insulation and smaller homes. Rising prices combined with falling consumption has been something of an issue with energy customers. The regulator Ofgem also introduced price caps back in 2019 but these have not had the desired effect of driving down prices. In fact, most of the Big Six providers have pegged their tariffs to the upper limits of the cap.
The average energy prices listed above do come with a few caveats. You need to remember that these are just national averages. In order to get a clearer and more accurate picture you need to look at the main factor that determines averages: house size.
Average energy bill by house size
Below you can see the average costs of energy for the different sizes of home in the UK: one or two bedrooms, three to four bedrooms and homes with more than four bedrooms. These constitute small, medium and large homes in the UK.
The table includes both the average costs per year and a breakdown of the gas and electricity figures.
|Type of home||Average gas costs/usage||Electricity costs/usage average||Average annual payment/usage|
|Small home 1/2 bedrooms||£465
|Medium home 3/4 bedrooms||£666
|Large home 4+ bedrooms||£893
What’s the average gas bill per month?
As the above table shows, the average gas bill per month in the UK is just over £50. This is the overall national average. The figures for the different sizes of homes are:
- Small home: £38.75
- Medium home: £55.5
- Large home: £74.40
Your bill will likely be more or less than these average figures based on your usage and number of people you live with.
What’s the average electricity bill per month?
The table above shows that the average electricity bill per month in the UK is £56.50, with the numbers for the three different sizes of homes being:
- Small home: £26.50
- Medium home: £40.50
- Large home: £59.25
However, there are factors that affect the average monthly use throughout the year. There may be times when we use more or less energy each year, or over the course of a number of years, according to weather patterns and seasons.
What affects the average gas and electricity bill?
There are lots of factors that can affect the average energy bills in the UK. This is why everyone’s energy bills are different, even if they live in similar sized houses. Factors that can affect energy costs include:
- The size of the property
- The number of people who live there
- Insulation and other energy saving actions
- The type of energy being used and the way it is used in the home (is the central heating gas or electric, for example)
- The choice of energy supplier
- The time of year or season
- Energy habits, such as taking showers or baths, or use of central heating
Gas and electric bills in winter
Of course, energy bills are likely to be higher in the winter than in the summer because we tend to use much more power at this time of year. We are inside more and require more central heating and hot water to stay comfortable. Due to there being less daylight, more electricity is used for lighting at later times in the mornings and earlier in the evenings.
Heating the average home in the UK will cost around £600 each winter. This represents a big part of the average annual energy spend. Not all winters are the same. A few years ago when we suffered the Beast from the East, energy spending increased dramatically as people needed more energy to keep warm and comfortable. Milder winters see energy prices go down.
Average gas and electric bills price evolution and expected evolution
The cost of energy in the UK has been increasing by around 3% a year, even though overall energy use has dropped.
Since 2015, energy costs in the UK have gone up by around 40%. This may in part be due to the energy cap which was brought in in 2019. It was introduced to try and limit energy spending but actually led a number of suppliers to raise their prices.
Future evolution of energy bills in the UK
Energy prices look set to increase in the next few years, even given the price cap, by around one or two percent annually. From 2030 onwards, long term predictions show the cost of energy dropping. This is largely because the UK has invested heavily in sustainable energy such as wind and wave power.
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The cost of gas is likely to drop as demand also decreases. Although this may be subject to more volatile fluctuations in coming years. This is because more people will make a switch to more sustainable heating such as biofuels, gas costs will decline over time.
It is still not clear how Brexit is going to affect the price of energy in the UK as much of our power currently comes from the EU. However, with an increasing reliance on green energy from wind farms providing more of our power it might mean the impacts are limited. However, the issue is slightly more complicated for gas.
The move towards green energy will also have an impact, as people are now preferring to get their energy from more renewable sources. At the moment this costs slightly more but with increased competition prices could come down.
What is the average kWh price?
Gas and electricity usage is measured in kWh. The amount you pay depends on the energy tariff you have agreed with your supplier. It can also depend on other factors such as the region you live in. In the UK, the average cost of electricity per kWh is 14.37p, and for gas the cost per kWh is 3.80p
What makes up my energy bills?
There are two main constituent costs of your energy bill. These are the amount of energy you use in kWh. The other is the standing charge – the daily costs of supplying your home, maintaining the network and your meter.
If you think you’re paying too much for either, then you are free to change supplier and get a better deal at any point – as long as it is your name on the energy contract. Remember that if you’re on a fixed contract there may be some exit fees to pay.
Your bill can be broken down as follows:
- 67% supplier margins and costs
- 16% distribution charges
- 2% transmission charges
- 6% environmental charges
- 5% VAT
- 4% other
How to reduce your energy costs?
There are many ways that you can save on your energy costs. The main one is to make a switch to a provider that offers better rates, which could help you to save up to £300 on your energy bills.
You can also try the following:
- Turn off standby appliances
- Install a smart thermostat
- Turn down your thermostat
- Install a new boiler
- Wash clothes at a lower temperature
- Be smarter about water
- Think about how well your home is insulated
- Use up to date appliances
How much is the average UK household energy bill?
The average combined energy bill in the UK in 2019 was £1,289, according to supplier OVO Energy. This was the cost for both gas and electricity, with the averages for each individual fuel being £679 for electricity and £610 for gas.
What affects the average gas and electricity bill?
The factors that affect the average energy bills in the UK include the size of homes and number of people who live in the property. It includes energy habits, where you are in the country and use of smart meters, global supply and regulator price caps.
What is the average kWh price?
Gas and electricity consumption is measured in kWh. The amount you pay per kWh will depend on your tariff. The average cost of electricity per kWh is 14.37p, and the average gas cost per kWh is 3.80p.
How can I spend less on gas and electricity?
The first thing to do is switch your supplier, and you could save up to £300 a year. You can also change the way you use energy, heating and appliances. Install a smart meter and thermostat, buy more efficient appliances and have your boiler serviced on a regular basis.
Updated on 24 Jan, 2022
Energy Specialist & Copywriter