What is the average UK household electricity usage?

Average household electricity usage blog post 28 March 2011 First published 28 March 2011, updated 25 November 2013.

We are often asked how much electricity a typical UK household would use ? well now thanks to British Gas we have a much better idea. In 2011, British Gas published their data for electricity and gas consumption by region. No two households are the same but the stats give you a fair indication of energy consumption.

In 2013, I published a first-hand account of my family?s own electricity usage. We live in a typical 3-bed semi-detached house in Oxford.

I measured our electricity consumption for several years, and discovered that our average usage is 4700 kWh, which puts me squarely in the ?average household consumption? level described by British Gas in their report.

In my article, I looked at the benefits that installing a 4kW Solar PV system would give me. Energy suppliers are increasing their prices each year, and as they are only making around 5p profit in every £1 they charge customers, we can?t expect that the market will suddenly change or that they?ll be forced to lower prices again. They rely on the international markets, and we rely on them.

However, renewable energy is becoming a familiar and accepted way of reducing that reliance on energy suppliers, and future-proofing our family accounts against 6-10% annual price hikes.

You can find the raw data on the Guardian website here.

Renewable energy is more affordable than you think

The government supports subsidies designed to help you switch to renewables, and help the country to meet our CO2 reduction targets. The Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in Tariff pays you for producing your own heat or electricity.

Lowering bills in an average 3-bed home

Let?s say you?ve got a 3-bedroom, 2-storey home, with a 160m2 floor area. Your typical electricity demand might be 4800kWh/year and your space heating demand is 18,000kWh/year. Your hot water usage is 3,800kWh.

Here?s what your home might do to lower energy bills and earn money from government subsidies:

southampton-solar-panels-installation Lower electricity bills

A 4kW Solar PV system with would cost about £6,500 – £7000 to install, produce around 4,000 kWh of electricity and generate an income of around £1000 in bill savings and Feed-in Tariff payments.

See my model of how much my electricity bills would cost over the next 5 years, and how much I could earn with a solar PV system.

Solar thermal (solar hot water) and the RHI Lower hot water bills

A Hot Water Heat Pump or Solar Thermal system means you can make your Solar PV system work even harder for you, heating your water, so you spend less on your gas bill.

For larger homes: Lower heating bills with Biomass or a Heat Pump

Biomass boilers and air source heat pumps both qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, with generous financial rewards.

Yes, they?re costly to install, but there are finance options available if you can?t afford the upfront cost of installation. Read our buyer?s guide to comparing biomass boilers.

Case study: Read this EnergyMyWay customer case study ? the Dickinsons in Kent are getting a 15% return on their Solar PV and Air Source Heat Pump system and making £1085 a year from bill savings and the Feed-in Tariff.

Here are some financial examples of savings and earnings on 5-bed houses that install a Biomass Boiler or Heat Pump to reduce their heating bills.


Domestic Biomass Boiler financial data

To talk to EnergyMyWay about how you can use renewable energy to lower your energy bills, email your regional director or call 0845 371 3181.

James Eades

By: James Eades

Operations Director, James Eades is EnergyMyWay's in-house expert on renewable energy policy, microgeneration technologies and best practice in the renewable energy industry.