Paying electric bills can be one of the highest expenses for many in the UK on a monthly or annual basis. In this article we discuss:
- The average electric bill in the UK
- What uses the most electricity in a home
- How you can save on electricity
- Electricity at night – is it cheaper?
What is the average electric bill in the UK?
The size of your electric bill depends on a number of factors such as:
- The size of your home
- When your home was built
- How well-insulated your home is
- The number of domestic appliances you have, and how often they are used
- The type of light bulbs you use
- The energy tariff you are on
The size of your home plays a major role; for instance, a 1-2-bedroomed home has an average bill of £34 per month while a 5-bedroomed home has an average of £70.
What uses the most electricity in a household?
Lighting your home accounts for, on average, a fifth of your electricity bill. Although an individual bulb doesn’t use much electricity, we often have several lights on at the same time. The older CFL light bulbs are much less energy-efficient than the ones. Although LED light bulbs are much more expensive to buy, they last up to 10 times longer and can reduce your annual bill for lighting by about £55 a year.
Apart from lighting, the domestic appliances which use the most electricity are as follows:
- Television: Based on usage of 6.5 hours a day, a TV costs £62.61 a year although this depends on the type of TV
- Fridge/freezer: This costs on average £40.80 a year
- Washing machine: You pay about £39 a year (depending on how often it’s used)
- Tumble dryer: £37 a year (using it 150 times a year)
- Electric hob/oven: The hob costs £30.10 a year (compared to £14.12 for a gas-powered hob) and £21.08 a year for the oven (£7.60 for a gas oven)
- Dishwasher: Used an average of 135 times a year, a dishwasher costs £19.44 a year
How can I save electricity?
Getting into the habit of turning the lights off in empty rooms, not leaving electric appliances on standby and replacing CFL light bulbs with energy-efficient ones can all reduce your electricity bill. You should only run washing machines and dishwashers when you have a full load. When the weather is good, dry clothes naturally on a washing line instead of using the tumble dryer.
When you need to replace white goods like fridges, make sure you check their energy rating (which run from A++ to G). Ones with the highest energy-efficiency ratings may be more expensive, but you’ll soon see savings in your electricity bills.
Is electricity cheaper at night?
Electricity is only cheaper at night if you’re on an Economy 7 tariff. This tariff charges day- and night-time use at different tariffs and is monitored by the installation of two separate meters.
It is possible to switch to an Economy 7 tariff, but it will only save you money if you consume at least 40% of your energy at night (usually from 11pm-6am, but this may vary from provider to provider). This is because day-time rates are higher than the standard fixed tariff. An Economy 7 tariff is also ideal if you have electric storage heaters and heat your water up at night to be used during the day.