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Have the feeling that your gas bill is too high? Although using gas is essential for many households, overspending on it absolutely is not. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what many energy consumers in the UK are doing right now. On average, UK households pay around £602 per year or £50.17 per month for our gas. Average unit gas prices stand at about 3.80p per kWh. If you’re paying more than this, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Last update: June 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.
In this post we’ll get to know the average gas bill, and find out what goes into determining the price of gas. We’ll also suggest some ideas in which you can drive down your gas consumption, and your bills.
How much is the average gas bill?
It’s difficult to ascertain the UK national average gas bill, because there are many variables at play. Your gas bill depends on more than just your usage. Everything from your choice of energy tariff to the kind of meter you have in your home to where you live in the UK can play a part in your average bill.
However, given that the National Audit Office reported last year that we, as a nation, spend over £800 million more than we should on our energy, we could all do with finding out whether we’re overspending on our gas.
Fortunately, we can apply a rough formula to establish the average UK gas bill. Let’s take a look:
- The median average UK gas consumption is 12,000 kWh per year
- The median average unit cost per kWh of gas is around 3.80p
- Daily standing charges for gas can range between 10p and 80p so the median average is around 40p
- So, first we need to multiply 0.038 by 12,000 to work out the average per kWh spend. This comes to £456 per year.
- Next, we need to work out the average cost of standing charges. For this we multiply 0.40 by 365 to get £146.
- We now add these together to get £602 per year.
What is the average gas and electric bill in the UK?
If we use the above formula with the UK average unit rates and standing charges (14.37p and 30p respectively) for electricity, we get £526.23. Adding this to the average annual gas bill gives us £1,128.23. However, this is a little over the Ofgem energy price cap which currently stands at £1,042 per year across both fuels.
How much is the average gas bill per month
Now we know that the average gas bill is £602 per year, all we need to do is divide this figure by 12 to get £50.17 per month.
How much is an average gas bill per quarter
Some energy consumers prefer to pay their bills on a quarterly basis. Many energy suppliers are permissive of this, while some reserve this facility for their priority service customers.
What is the average gas bill for a…
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1 bedroom flat
When searching for a new gas supplier, the Papernest team strongly recommend providing them with an estimate of your annual or monthly usage. If you are unable to provide this, many suppliers will estimate your usage based on the size of your property.
The larger the property, the more people are presumed to occupy it, and the greater the usage is presumed to be.
As such, a 1 bedroom flat is presumed to have relatively low gas use. Suppliers estimate this to be 8,000 kWh per year. If we multiply this by 0.038 (the average gas unit rate) this gives us £304 per year. To this we add the standing charges of £146. This gives us £450 per year, or £37.50 per month.
2-3 bedroom house
A 2-3 bedroom house is presumed to have average gas usage of 12,000 kWh per year. As above, we can extrapolate this to £602 per year, or £50.17 per month.
4 bedroom house
A large house with 4 or more bedrooms is presumed to have higher gas usage of 17,000 kWh per year. This gives average annual costs of £792 per year or £66 per month.
How much is the average gas bill in winter?
In the winter months, we tend to use more gas. We eat hot food rather than cold, our heating costs are higher and we’re likely to use hotter water for showers and baths. As such, our bills tend to be a little higher. What’s more, wholesale energy costs also tend to rise in winter. So those on variable rate tariffs may be affected. However, energy suppliers tend to bulk buy energy in advance to prevent seasonal fluctuations in demand from affecting their customers.
It’s difficult to estimate how much the average bill will be in winter, as it depends on your supplier, location and usage. Switching suppliers and taking steps to conserve energy in the winter months can help to mitigate the energy price rise.
Who offers the best gas rates?
Some gas suppliers are cheaper than others. However, trying to ascertain the best gas rates for everyone can be problematic. Gas rates can vary depending on supplier, tariff and location. So the best gas rates for your friends, relatives and colleagues may not necessarily be the best for you.
However, a gas-only supplier like Zog generally has advantageous rates. You can have a look at their tariffs in the table below. Monthly / annual estimated costs are based on average gas consumption of 12,000 kWh per year.
|Tariff Name||Annual Cost||Monthly Cost||Standing Charge (per day)||Unit Charge (per kWh)|
|Zog Mercury 12 v43 Month FIXED term||£397.54||£33.13||19.95 p||2.706 p|
|Zog Mercury 24 v29 Month FIXED term||£427.24||£35.6||25.2 p||2.7938 p|
|Zog Juniper Month VARIABLE term||£451.21||£37.6||25.2 p||2.9936 p|
|Zog Saturn 12 v18 Month FIXED term||£474.16||£39.51||19.95 p||3.3445 p|
|Zog Saturn 24 v8 Month FIXED term||£479.44||£39.95||21 p||3.3566 p|
Cheapest gas prices in UK vs most expensive
By rule of thumb, smaller gas suppliers and gas-only suppliers tend to offer the cheapest rates. Green energy suppliers tend to offer affordable carbon-offset gas. However, suppliers that use renewable biomethane gas, while more eco-friendly) tend to have slightly costlier rates.
The “Big 6” energy suppliers (British Gas, Scottish Power, N Power, SSE, E.On, EDF) tend to have the highest rates.
However, these are not hard and fast rules. Which is why it’s so important to get in touch with the Papernest team when you’re ready to switch suppliers. We can search through all the tariffs from suppliers of all shapes and sizes to find the perfect energy deal for your unique needs and usage.
Is gas or electricity more expensive?
Unit rates for gas tend to be much lower than they are for electricity, although we tend to use much more gas. The average household uses 12,000 kWh of gas per year as opposed to 2,900 kWh of electricity. Likewise, though the average unit rate for gas is 3.80p, the average unit rate for electricity is 14.37p. Daily standing charges for gas and electricity are similar, although the standing charges for gas are an average of 10p higher.
As such, gas is slightly more expensive throughout the year than electricity.
How does the average bill vary for different parts of the UK?
Unit costs vary by region, which is my many energy consumers bemoan the “postcode lottery” of energy costs. However, the simple truth is that its costs more to supply gas to some parts of the country than others. A range of factors determine your local unit costs, including:
- The number of customers a supplier has in your area
- The amount of gas the supplier generates (or buys) in the area.
- The charges imposed by the Gas Transporters in the area
- How much gas is used by consumers in the area
Consumers in the south east tend to pay the most for their gas, while gas unit rates are cheapest in Yorkshire and the North East.
What affects the average gas bill?
Wholesale gas costs are the primary factor behind fluctuating gas prices. This in turn is driven (as in most economies) by supply and demand. This is why energy companies buy their gas in bulk to weather the fluctuations in cost and insulate their customers from fluctuating prices.
Of course, how much gas you use also affects you average gas bill, as does your choice in tariff. The energy watchdog Ofgem recommends switching gas suppliers every 12-18 months. This helps to keep the industry competitive, as well as ensuring that you’re not throwing money away on a tariff that doesn’t offer you good value for money.
Every time you switch, be sure to get in touch with the Papernest team. So you can get the best energy deal on the market quickly and hassle-free.
What makes up my gas bill?
Ever wondered what goes into the gas bill that arrives every month or quarter? Let’s break down your average gas bill so that you know exactly what you’re paying for…
Your unit charges make up the bulk of your gas bill. Households with dual-fuels tend to use much more gas than they do electricity. Your usage is expressed in unit costs per kWh. Energy suppliers convert your gas consumption in cubic meters to kWh. You can do this yourself by multiplying your gas usage in cubic meters by 11.1868 to convert it into kWh.
Believe it or not, suppliers make very little (if any) profit on their unit costs.
Standing charges are applied to your gas bill daily. They range from anywhere between 10p and 80p per day. This is where energy companies make their slender profits, as well as covering the costs that come with running an energy company.
Although you can get gas tariffs that have no standing charges, these are only recommended for households with very low usage, holiday lets, or short-term rentals. An absence of standing charges inevitably means much higher unit costs.
Energy bills are also subject to VAT. Whenever the Papernest team provides you with a quote for a new energy plan, you can rest assured that it is inclusive of VAT. The VAT rates for energy bills is just 5% rather than the usual 20%.
What can you do to lower your gas bill?
There’s nothing worse than being unpleasantly surprised by a higher than average gas bill. These often come to us in the winter months when our usage tends to be higher. Unfortunately, this is also a time when many of us are also finding it a little trickier financially in the wake of Christmas. Especially now, in the COVID era.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to reduce your future energy bills. Although some of these may require some upfront investment, others require nothing more than a little extra diligence. For example, did you know that turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree could save up to £75 per year on your energy bill?
You can see some gas saving solutions in the table below:
|Gas Saving Solution||Potential Savings|
|Turn down your thermostat by just one degree.||£75 per year.|
|Replace your windows or doors with BFRC A++ rated alternatives.||£120 per year.|
|Replacing your loft and wall cavity insulation.||Up to £395 per year.|
|Replace your boiler if it's more than 12 years old.||Up to £305 per year.|
|Install a smart thermostat for your boiler.||Up to £350 per year.|
Why have our bills gone up so much?
If your gas bills are significantly higher than you were expecting, there are a number of potential causes, most of them to do with your heating costs. We’ve included some of the most common below.
- Your boiler is old and inefficient. Other signs of this include a yellow pilot light, strange noises or smells coming from your boiler, or radiators taking longer to heat up than they used to.
- You are losing heat from your windows or attic space. Cracks and gaps around your windows can also be a sign of heat loss.
- You’re spending too long preheating your oven. Most foods don’t actually need to go into a hot oven.
- You’re not reporting your usage to your supplier regularly. Take monthly meter readings or get a smart meter fitted. So your bills are based on actual usage rather than estimates.
- You’re on a needlessly expensive gas tariff and you pay a higher than average gas bill even when your usage is moderate or low.
If you are certain that none of the above are applicable, you may potentially have a gas leak that is driving up your prices. Find a local Gas Safe registered engineer to investigate.
What uses the most gas in a house?
Your boiler and central heating system use the most gas in your home, which is why you should put your thermostat on a timer or turn off radiators when not in use, to ensure that heat energy is not wasted in empty rooms.
Better yet, invest in a smart thermostat. This actually tracks and learns your household’s behaviour, heating the spaces where they spend time preemptively.
Does hot water affect your gas bill?
It certainly can. If you take more baths and fewer showers this can drive up your gas bill. Also, remember that you don’t necessarily need to use hot water to wash your dishes. Warm soapy water will work just as well, without driving up your gas bills.
How is my average bill impacted by my energy plan?
As hard as you may try to conserve gas in your home, your savings will always be limited if you’re on a needlessly expensive tariff.
The good news is that even if you have a higher than average gas bill, the Papernest team can dramatically drive down your utility costs by helping you find a new supplier and tariff. The average household can save up to £300 a year by switching suppliers regularly. Imagine how much you could save! We’ll even manage your switch from end-to-end, so you can get cheaper gas faster and hassle-free.
Call the Papernest team today on 0330 818 6225.
We’re available from 8am to 6pm.
Would you like to know more about gas prices? Great! Check out these related articles.
What is the average gas bill per month UK?
The average cost for a unit of gas is 3.8p. The average daily standing charge is around 40p. Given that the average household uses around 12,000 kWh of gas per year, this makes the average monthly gas bill around £50.17.
How much is the average daily cost of gas and electricity?
The average cost of a kWh of electricity is 14.37p, and the average standing charge is around 30p. If the average household uses 12,000 kWh of gas and 2,900 kWh of electricity per year, this makes the average dual fuel energy bill around £1,128.23 per year or £94 per month. At the time of writing, however, energy costs are capped at £1,042 per year for both fuels in line with the energy price cap.
How much higher should my gas bill be in winter?
Although your gas bills are likely to be a little higher in winter (when you spend more on heating), that doesn’t necessarily mean that your gas bills should be significantly higher. Dressing warmer rather than relying on central heating all day, taking showers instead of baths, and lowering your thermostat by just one degree can help to reduce your winter energy costs. As, of course, can switching supplier and tariff.
Can a gas leak cause a high gas bill?
Yes. If your bills are unaccountably high, a gas leak may be the cause. Because a gas leak in your home can be seriously hazardous to your health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call out a Gas Safe registered engineer to check for signs of a leak.
Updated on 15 Jun, 2022
Energy Specialist & Copywriter